A majority of Illinois and Northwest Indiana homes have gas furnaces. Merts Heating & Air Conditioning gets many comments and questions from our customers about the danger of gas leaks.
The Risk is Always There
Merts wants to be very clear: Gas furnaces are safe and reliable but there is always some degree of risk. As a homeowner you need to be aware of that and know the various ways to protect yourself against those dangerous situations.
Maintenance is Always Key
Modern furnaces do have safety sensors that can sense dangerous conditions including some of those caused by gas line problems. Those sensors will shut the furnace down automatically to protect you. However, there’s only one way to be sure those safety features are functioning correctly and that’s with annual routine maintenance.
Physical Detection Methods
Our Merts technicians will always check your gas lines and connections during maintenance visits to your Illinois or Northwest Indiana home, but it’s also a good idea to regularly inspect the gas lines yourself. A good leak detection method is to mix one tablespoon of dish soap with one cup of water. Pour the mix into a spray bottle and liberally spray the gas lines. If there is a gas leak you will see soapy bubbles.
The Importance of Smell
In their natural states natural gas and propane are odorless and tasteless. To lessen the danger, suppliers are legally required to add a substance that makes gas smell like rotten eggs. It’s a good safety system, but certainly not foolproof. Some people simply don’t have a good sense of smell. This can also happen if you’re suffering from a cold or allergies. Additionally, if there has been a small gas leak going on for an extended time it’s possible the smell has become normal to you.
Homeowners need to be aware explosions aren’t the only risk posed by gas leaks. Natural gas in the air of your home is not healthy. Even at low levels it can cause headaches and breathing problems. Higher levels can make you unconscious and kill you.
What You Should Do
The only safe thing to do if you detect a gas leak is to leave the house immediately. When you are safely clear of the home call your gas supplier or 9-1-1. Once the leak is identified and the gas is shut off THEN call Merts and we will fix the problem for you. For more great furnace safety information be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.