According to the American Gas Association, there are more than 74 million natural gas customers currently in the United States. That includes Charleston homeowners depending on gas furnaces for heat during the winter. While an incredible resource for cooking, keeping warm, and many other applications, natural gas is also highly flammable and gas leaks can place residents at risk for fire and even explosion. There are many signs that can indicate your gas furnace is leaking, and understanding how to detect these symptoms and when it’s time to call for professional help is essential to keeping you and your family safe.
5 Signs of an Emergency Gas Leak in Your Home
Gas furnaces rely on natural gas to heat your home. If your system is older or has been poorly maintained, damaged valves can cause a gas leak to occur in your home. It’s important to identify the following signs that can indicate a more serious gas leak in your West Ashley home:
- Sulfur Smell: If you smell sulfur or rotten eggs in your home, there’s a strong possibility that your furnace could be leaking gas.
- Browning Shrubbery: Your furnace will be connected to a natural gas line that runs from your home to your provider. If a gas leak exists, you may start to notice your outdoor shrubbery or grass turning brown.
- Dead Houseplants: Just like the plants outdoors, your houseplants can start to show signs of decay in the presence of a gas leak.
- Pilot Flame: Your furnace’s pilot light should always burn blue. If you notice that the flame has turned orange or yellow, it could be a sign that your unit is producing toxic carbon monoxide gas.
- Hissing Sounds: If you notice a hissing sound coming from around your gas furnace, this can be a sign that your unit is leaking gas.
Each of these signs indicates abnormal behavior in your furnace that needs to be immediately addressed by a professional HVAC contractor. Perhaps even more concerning than the signs of a gas leak coming from your system are the physical symptoms such a leak can have on you and your family members. It’s important for homeowners to take action by scheduling immediate service rather than waiting for physical symptoms to manifest.
Physical Symptoms Associated With Gas Leaks
When a gas leak has been left untreated too long in your Summerville home, you and your family members can be at increased risk for experiencing a number of health issues. The most common physical symptoms to occur during a gas leak include the following:
- Trouble breathing
- Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
- Drowsiness or increased fatigue
- Flu-like symptoms, such as nausea and headaches
- Ear, nose, and throat irritation
- Mood changes, including depression
- Chest pain
- Decreased appetite
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
A gas leak can even impact the health of your pets, causing them to feel disoriented or lethargic, or causing vomiting. Pets can also have trouble breathing or show red, watering eyes when in the presence of a gas leak. It’s crucial for homeowners to take immediate action when they notice the signs of a gas leak in their home.
What to Do If Your Home Has a Gas Leak
Gas leaks are extremely serious and require urgent action to protect yourself and your family members. If you suspect there’s a gas leak in your home, follow the steps below:
Evacuation: Collect yourself and all pets and family members to evacuate the house immediately. Be sure to leave all doors open when leaving your home.
Call 911: Once you and your family have safely evacuated, call 911, your local fire department, or your utility company’s emergency hotline for immediate assistance. Do not make the call from inside your home as this can potentially ignite the gas.
Wait: A certified inspector will come to your home to locate and repair the gas leak for your safe return. Only when you’ve been notified that it is safe can you return to your home.
Once you’ve returned to your home, make sure to air out the house before settling inside. After a gas leak experience, it’s crucial to equip your home with the proper monitoring systems. Preferred Home Services offers top-rated carbon monoxide alarms to ensure your continued safety following a gas leak event.
Contact Preferred Home Services for Help in Charleston, SC
Wherever you are located at, a certified plumbing professional should be called immediately to help you return to your home following the gas leak. If you are experiencing a gas leak in Charleston, SC, contact Preferred Home Services to make sure your home is outfitted with the proper safety systems to keep you protected. Our team only offers the highest-quality alarm systems to monitor your HVAC units for potential gas leaks.