If you have a gas furnace, there’s always a possibility of a gas leak. Leaks most commonly occur in gas valves or furnace cracks. Your service technician will check for cracks during your annual maintenance check, but it’s important you know what to do if you smell gas leaking from your furnace.
Fortunately, gas companies put mercaptan in gas, so you can smell it. Natural gas is odorless, so if you had a leak without this substance, you wouldn’t be able to smell it.
Guidelines for Detecting Gas Leaks
- Obviously, smelling gas is one sign of a leak. As you approach your furnace, listen carefully for a hissing sound, and see if you can detect where it’s coming from.
- Inspect your housing for cracks, using a mirror and flashlight to observe hard-to-reach places.
- Make sure to observe furnace flames to see if they change color. If they do, this can be a sign of leaks in the valves.
- Mix water and dish washing soap in a spray bottle, and spray the solution on the valves. If it bubbles up, you probably have a gas leak. You should spray straight lengths as you search for pinholes.
- As an added layer of protection, you can install gas detection devices around the furnace. These are not always reliable, so don’t count on these alone to tell you if gas is leaking from your furnace. If you think you have a leak, a gas detector may help confirm it.
- Get professional help. An HVAC service technician has all the right equipment and experience for detecting gas leaks. A service tech can also inspect for potential problems, such as a cracked heat exchanger, which may cause problems with leaking carbon monoxide.
To learn more about gas leaks, contact the pros at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We’ve been providing excellent care for the heating, air conditioning and geothermal system needs of Springdale and Northwest Arkansas residents since 1968.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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