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Is It Normal to Smell Gas Near a Furnace?

To ensure that your gas appliances provide safe and reliable operation in Whittier, it’s important to remain vigilant to look for any unusual signs that could indicate a problem. This is especially true of your furnace since it uses more natural gas than any other appliance. Any time that you smell gas near your furnace, it’s important to investigate further. After your initial investigation, you’ll be better able to determine if you need to call in assistance from Premier Indoor Comfort Systems.

First Things First: Don’t Be a Hero

When you’re investigating a gas smell near your furnace, don’t try to be a hero. If you feel unsafe for any reason, it’s best to evacuate your house immediately. Even if the problem is small, it’s best to have Premier Indoor Comfort Systems investigate the problem if you’re unsure of the origin of your gas smell. A gas leak can cause an explosion if a spark occurs. Even the faintest odor of natural gas could indicate a problem. Rather than risk serious injury or death, it’s best to assume the worst and hope for the best.

Draft Inducer: The Key to a Safe Gas Furnace

The moment that your thermostat sends a signal to your furnace to turn on, the first component to activate is the draft inducer. This component is a fan that is located in your flue pipe. The fan draws air through the flue to create negative pressure inside it so that any exhaust gases from the furnace are expelled through the flue instead of escaping into your home.

If your draft inducer malfunctions, there may not be enough negative pressure to remove any excess natural gas that your furnace produces. This is a serious condition that you’ll need Premier Indoor Comfort Systems to help repair. Typically, you’ll notice that a draft inducer is going bad because it will make loud noises when it first turns on. To avoid a potential gas leak in your home, it’s best to have your draft inducer motor repaired or replaced at the first sign of trouble.

The Pilot Light

Every furnace has a pilot light. This is the component that ignites the gas in the burner as it flows through your furnace. On older furnaces, the pilot light is a small flame that burns constantly. One common problem associated with these older pilot lights is that they can go out if the small burner becomes dirty or if there is a fluctuation in the gas supply.

If your pilot light goes out, your furnace should prevent any gas from flowing through the main burner. However, if this safety feature fails and your pilot light is out, then you’ll have a serious gas leak on your hands because you’ll have gas flowing through the burner and escaping into your home. Therefore, if your furnace won’t start, it’s a good idea to have Premier Indoor Comfort Systems inspect your furnace to see if your pilot light is out. It may be that your pilot light needs to be cleaned to ensure proper operation or that it was just a one-time fluke.

Short Bursts of Gas

Even if your furnace is operating perfectly, there may be instances when gas will flow through the burner before the pilot light has a chance to ignite the gas. This will result in a minuscule gas release into your home. However, you’ll know it’s part of the normal operation because the smell will be limited to the area immediately around your furnace. Additionally, the smell will dissipate quickly instead of spreading throughout your home. As long as these short bursts of gas happen only occasionally, you can be sure that you’re not in any danger and that your furnace is operating as it should.

What You’ll Notice

In the unlikely event of a natural gas leak, you’ll notice many signs that will help you get out of your home before it’s too late. The first thing you’ll likely notice is the smell. At Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, we tell customers to expect a smell that’s something like rotten eggs. If the leak is especially large, you may be able to hear a hissing sound coming from the burner or natural gas line. Plus, you may have ringing in your ears, pain in your chest, unexplained nosebleeds, and other symptoms letting you know something is wrong. Don’t ignore these warning signs. Instead, get help from a professional as soon as possible.

We Take Your Safety and Comfort Seriously

At Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, the comfort of our customers comes second only to the safety of our customers. That’s why we work hard to safely install, repair, and maintain gas furnaces in our area. We can also install, repair, and maintain air conditioners, install thermostats, and much more. With over 20 years of experience, you can rely on us for your home comfort needs. To learn more about protecting yourself from natural gas leaks, contact us at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today.