A properly installed gas furnace in your Jonesboro, AR home should operate without any gas leaks. However, that furnace may develop a leak for any number of reasons. Here’s what you need to know to tell if you have a leak and what you should do if you suspect that there’s an issue.
Signs Your Furnace Has a Gas Leak
Natural gas is intrinsically odorless, but a substance is added to alert you if it flows into the air. The most obvious sign that you have a gas leak is the pungent odor from the mercaptan that’s added to it. However, there are other signs you may notice. You may hear a hissing sound; if you do, you should chase the sound down to determine its source.
Also, listen to your furnace as it starts up. If you hear a rattling sound only while it’s warming up, you may have a cracked heat exchanger. This can lead to both unburned gas leaking into your home and carbon monoxide from the burned fuel. Be sure you have a functional carbon monoxide detector nearby, and pay attention if it goes off.
What Causes a Furnace to Leak Gas?
Any number of issues with your furnace may cause a gas leak. We’ve already discussed a cracked heat exchanger, which is most commonly damaged from overheating.
Gas leaks can also occur with a faulty thermocouple, a bad gas regulator or even a maladjusted burner. With the latter, you may have a buildup of unburned fuel in the burn chamber, which could cause a loud bang when it finally combusts.
Gas coming to your home is safe as long as it remains properly regulated. However, it becomes very dangerous in an unregulated leak. Here’s what you need to do right now if you suspect a gas leak in your residence.
Evacuate Your Home
First, get everyone out of your house immediately, including larger pets like dogs or cats. This is potentially a very volatile situation, and you want to avoid risking your health and safety.
On your way out, be careful not to touch any electrical appliance or light switch. Doing so may cause a spark and ignite the gas, producing an explosion.
Once everyone is outside and at a safe distance from the building, call 911. Emergency responders are properly equipped to turn off the gas to your home to prevent further leaking. Utility companies often ask for a call as well so that they can confirm the leak is isolated and properly handled.
Call for a Professional Inspection and Repair
Finally, once the immediate danger is over, you’ll need to call for a professional HVAC technician to inspect your system. They’re equipped to safely determine the source and the cause of your leak, and they’ll help you determine the options for repairing it.
Don’t delay in dealing with a gas leak from your furnace. Call Elite Climate Control Heat and Air to schedule your furnace repair appointment today.