Many Canadians rely on natural gas to power their home appliances including stoves, furnaces, and dryers. Natural gas is so popular because of its abundance in Canada, its high combustibility and therefore heat output, and many cities have the piping infrastructure to direct as much as gas as needed into a home.
Homes with gas burning hardware can be vulnerable to leaks. How do you know when you’ve got a leak in your home and what should you do if it happens? Here are five signs to help you avoid a potentially dangerous situation.
1 – Sulphur/Rotten Egg Smell
This is the top indicator that you have a gas leak. Under ordinary circumstances, natural gas actually has no odour as with carbon monoxide. So companies deliberately add a non-harmful odorant called mercaptan which causes any leaking gas to smell and can be the first warning that you may have an issue.
2 – White Mist or Frost
You may notice a white substance with the appearance of frost or vapour building up around gas pipes and appliance connections, which can signify a rupture.
3 – Gas Bill Increase
Your gas bill may be showing higher than normal charges since more gas is escaping into the house than you have been actually using. Keep an eye on your bills and ensure that they are relatively consistent and proportionate to the amount of gas you use.
4 – Pilot Light Issues
Most gas burning appliances have a pilot light. When gas is leaking, this light may frequently burn out. Leaks may also cause the flame of pilot lights and gas stove tops to become orange or yellow in colour when they should appear blue. So pay closer attention when you’re igniting your cooktop or checking on your pilot lights.
5 – You Or Your Animals Have Physical Symptoms
If you experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, or lightheadedness, and see similar symptoms or behaviours in pets, this is unlikely to be a virus going around. Breathing in too much natural gas can have serious health consequences for both people and pets, though pets may be affected sooner than humans.
If you know or ever suspect you have a gas leak in your home, stop what you’re doing and leave. Do not turn on any electronics or do anything that could create a spark, flame, or electrical current potentially igniting the gas. From a safe place, call your gas company right away to have them turn off the gas to your home. Then, call a professional gas line repair expert to inspect the problem and make any necessary repairs.
Understanding natural gas safety helps you take care of the appliances that take care of you. We can help you keep your gas burning appliances in top shape. Contact us today for our furnace repair and maintenance services, to get more information, or for a free estimate!