Do you know how to determine if you have a natural gas leak? Follow these tips to find out.

August 9, 2022

Natural gas may be one of the cleanest and more efficient fossil fuels we use in our homes, but like all sources of energy, it can be dangerous if improperly handled or when leaks occur.

Do you know what to do if there is a natural gas emergency in your home? Do you know how to tell when a leak has occurred? Your Detroit HVAC experts at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning want you to be aware of signs.

Natural gas leaks can cause fires and inhaling the gas can cause various health issues, including death. By following these tips, you can avoid these potentially dangerous situations should they arise:

1. Look for these signs to determine if a leak is present:

  • Rotten egg smell. Natural gas has no odor so the utility company adds a scent to assist homeowners in determining when a leak has occurred.
  • Hissing noise. Large gas leaks in pipes or appliances are usually accompanied by a hissing sound even if the appliance is turned off.
  • Air bubbles inside the home. Natural gas leaks can happen in underground piping outside the home, so if you see bubbles in standing water, it may be a sign of a leak.
  • Dead or dying plants. If your plants are dying despite regular care and maintenance, they may have been exposed to a natural gas leak. Like the canary in the coal mine, a dying plant can alert you to the presence of gas. Look for shriveled and yellowing leaves.
  • Physical symptoms. Exposure to low levels of natural gas can cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and irregular breathing. High levels of exposure can cause these symptoms along with migraines, loss of memory or concentration and even suffocation.

2. Install carbon monoxide and natural gas detectors in your home.

These early warning detectors can alert you to a leak long before you could notice any gas smell.

3. Keep children away from any sources of natural gas.

Children should not be near stoves, heaters or other potential sources of natural gas. Teach children how to spot the signs of a natural gas leak so they can alert you if they notice these signs.

4. Regularly inspect appliances that use natural gas.

Keeping an eye on any appliances that use natural gas, such as stoves, water heaters, or even clothes dyers and generators, can help you avoid a natural gas leak. Having any large systems, such as a natural gas-powered HVAC unit, regularly serviced can also help you avoid leaks.

5. Know where your natural gas shutoff valve is located.

If you smell natural gas, you can turn off the source immediately if you know where this valve is and how to use it.

If you smell gas or even suspect there is a leak, leave your home immediately and call 911. Even if you are not 100% sure that a leak has occurred, it is better to be safe than sorry. Utility crews can be dispatched to check gas levels and emergency service personnel can be counted on to assist in the care of anyone who is exposed and help evacuate more buildings if the threat is widespread.

Natural gas is a great tool that provides cleaner and more efficient energy but knowing how to monitor it correctly can save your home and, in some cases, your life.

C & C Heating & Air Conditioning can also assist you in monitoring your natural gas HVAC system and water heater with our expert maintenance services. Call us at (586) 439-3319 if you want to schedule a maintenance appointment.

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