Most homes in the United States have one or two appliances that rely on natural gas to produce warm air or water. To protect your family and friends from the harmful symptoms of a gas leak, it’s important to be familiar with the causes of leaks and how to prevent them. Since a natural gas leak may be deadly, do not attempt to fix a crack or hole in your gas line without a licensed plumber or HVAC technician.
What Are the Symptoms of a Natural Gas Leak?
1. Rotten Egg Odor
Gas suppliers add a chemical called Mercaptan to natural gas to give it a noticeable odor. This makes it easier for families to detect a gas leak in its early stages. If you notice an odor that resembles rotten eggs or sulfur, it’s important to be aware of this common gas leak symptom. Immediately grab your kids and walk to a neighbors house to call a certified plumber or HVAC technician in your area.
2. Unhealthy Houseplants
If a gas leak goes undetected for a long period of time, there will not be enough Oxygen in your house to breathe. As a result, you may begin to notice symptoms such as unhealthy or dead houseplants in your kitchen, dining room, or bedroom. Moderate to severe gas leaks do not only affect plants. This issue will become deadly if it is not resolved by a processional contractor.
3. Sickness and Fatigue
Exposure to a slow gas leak in your house or apartment may cause deadly symptoms including sickness, weakness, nausea, suffocation, and headaches. If you feel sick or abnormal, immediately call an ambulance to confirm if you have been exposed to gas poisoning.
4. Dead Grass and Bushes
There is a large quantity of gas pipes beneath your house that provide your hardware and appliances with natural gas. If a gas line in the ground becomes cracked, gas will be released into the air and will absorb Oxygen. Without a sufficient supply of oxygen, the grass and bushes will begin in your yard. Noticeable symptoms of a gas leak include yellow grass and dead leaves on your bushes.
5. Irritated Skin
Some individuals will begin to notice skin irritation symptoms due to a gas leak that is located behind a wall or ceiling. A large abundance of natural gas in the air may cause blisters or numbness. In addition, a prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide may lead to skin discoloration and other types of issues.
6. Discolored Flames
A gas furnace is engineered to produce a hot blue flame while it is activated. A yellow flame may indicate a ventilation issue with your appliance. To confirm if you have a gas leak in your house, you should contact a professional.
How Can I Avoid A Carbon Monoxide Leak From My Furnace?
The best way to avoid the deadly symptoms of a carbon monoxide gas leak is to schedule a furnace tune-up appointment with a licensed HVAC contractor. A licensed technician will examine your heat exchanger for signs of cracks and make sure there are no other problems that could lead to leaks.
Since carbon monoxide problems are more likely to happen when the furnace has airflow problems, it’s also best to change your filter regularly. If you are continuously having issues with your furnace, it’s in your best interest to call a certified technician in your area.
How to Know If You Have a Gas Leak: Causes & Solutions
If you have an appliance in your house that utilizes natural gas to produce heat, it’s important to have your gas lines inspected on an annual basis. It is not uncommon for a connection to become loose between a gas line and an appliance. We recommend hiring a professional each year to inspect appliances such as stoves, water heaters, and dryers to confirm if you have a gas leak.
Gas appliances are engineered with ventilation fans and pipes to remove harmful carbon monoxide that is produced during the standard heating process. For example, your gas fireplace and water heater utilize carbon monoxide to create warm air or water for your house. If your appliances are working properly, this odorless and colorless gas will be distributed by a fan and pipe to the outdoor air.
On the other hand, small to large issues with the ventilation fan in your gas appliances may cause a critical gas leak to form in your home. As your gas appliances reach the middle or end of their lifespans, the exhaust pipes may also become clogged and cause a deadly gas leak. To protect your family, we recommend hiring a local and licensed plumber to perform an audit of your gas lines each year.
The gas lines connected to your house have a limited lifespan. These pipes will begin to corrode and produce a gas leak if they are not replaced prior to the end of their life cycle. While it may seem easy to perform a checkup on your gas lines, there are a large number of pipes beneath your house that you cannot access.
A crack or hole may also form on a new gas line underneath your house due to the growth of tree roots. If you notice signs of a gas line leak, immediately evacuate your house and call a licensed plumber to diagnose and resolve the issue.
Read More: How to Drain a Hot Water Heater
What Groups Are At the Highest Risk of Injury or Death From a Gas Leak?
Regardless of your age or physical condition, symptoms to a gas leak will become harmful or deadly if the issue is not resolved by an emergency plumber in Arlington, VA or other areas. However, children and elderly adults are particularly at risk of developing deadly symptoms due to exposure to natural gas.
Older individuals are at risk of developing brain damage from a gas leak. On the other hand, young kids take breaths more often when compared to teenagers or young adults. As a result, your child may display harmful signs of gas poisoning before you do.
Physical Implications of a Natural Gas Leak
Long term exposure to natural gas may cause permanent medical symptoms including miscarriage, cardiovascular damage, brain problems, or death. To preserve the health of your family, it’s important to become familiar with various ways to prevent a gas leak in your house.
Ways to Prevent a Gas Leak in Your House
Purchase Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The best way to prevent deadly gas leak symptoms is to install a carbon monoxide detector near each bedroom in your house. If this device detects carbon monoxide in the air, it will produce a loud noise. To ensure the carbon monoxide detectors are working in your home, we recommend checking them 2 to 3 times each year.
Do Not Start Your Car Until the Garage is Open
Starting your car while the garage is closed may cause carbon monoxide poisoning or death. If you have a remote starter for your car, please do not turn your car on until the garage door is open. This allows the natural gas to be properly ventilated from your house.
Follow the Usage Instructions for Your Appliances
To avoid the harsh symptoms of gas leaks, we recommend reading the instructions that came with your appliances to ensure you are using them correctly. For example, you may not want to use a gas space heater in your room without opening the doors or windows. In addition, refer to the manufacturers guidelines to confirm how often a tune-up or maintenance appointment should be performed on a gas furnace or water heater in your house. Hiring a licensed plumber in Alexandria, VA to perform a tune-up is the most effective way to protect yourself from the harmful symptoms of a natural gas leak.
Plumbing and HVAC Services in Virginia
If you notice signs or symptoms of a natural gas leak in your house, give the team at Snell a call by phone at (703) 543-9649 or schedule an appointment on our website. We offer repair and installation services for gas lines, furnaces, and water heaters.
We are a proactive organization that has comprehensive insurance coverage and friendly technicians. Snell Heating & Air Conditioning provides HVAC and plumbing services in areas of Virginia such as Reston, Arlington, Centreville, and Alexandria. Call our team today to discuss an emergency plumbing or HVAC issue in your house.