March 10, 2021

You depend on your furnace to provide reliable heating throughout the cold American Fork winters. On the coldest days, a gas furnace can often provide better heating than an electric furnace. The downside of a gas furnace, though, is that it requires a natural gas supply to function. Given the flammable and potentially explosive properties of natural gas, it’s normal to wonder if something’s wrong if you smell gas near your heater. To help keep you and your family safe, here are a few things that the pros at Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing want you to know about gas furnaces.

Safety Equipment

It’s important to understand that a furnace is equipped with several safety features to help prevent a gas leak. Every furnace has a thermometer that checks to make sure the temperature in the combustion chamber doesn’t get too high. If the temperature does get too high, this could indicate a problem with the gas supply. Fortunately, the limit switch attached to this thermometer will shut down your heater automatically before any damage can be done.

Other safety equipment includes either a thermocouple or mercury flame sensor that ensures the pilot light is burning so that your furnace isn’t releasing gas into your house. Additionally, the air pressure switch checks to make sure that the draft inducer is drawing excess gas away from your furnace to help prevent small explosions in your appliance.

A Slight Delay

When your thermostat detects that the temperature in your house is too low, it sends a signal to your furnace to begin operation. The first piece of equipment to turn on is the draft inducer. Then, the pilot light will ignite the gas coming through the burner. Typically, the time between when the gas comes into the burner and when the pilot light ignites the gas is very minimal. If there is a slight delay, though, this could allow a small amount of gas to enter your home. If you only notice the smell of gas close to your furnace and that smell goes away quickly, you likely have no reason to worry or call Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing.

Signs of Trouble

Although a small release of gas from your furnace is nothing to worry about, there are some signs of trouble that you should keep an eye out for. One red flag is if you smell gas throughout your entire residence. This indicates that a gas leak has been ongoing for some time. Any time you smell gas throughout your home, it’s important to evacuate your property immediately. Also, if your furnace isn’t burning gas correctly, you could end up with a carbon monoxide leak. To help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, we at Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing recommend that you install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

What to Do in the Event of a Leak

If you smell gas throughout your house or hear an unusual hissing sound coming from your furnace, it’s important to act quickly. The first thing you must do is evacuate you and your family outside to receive fresh air. Make sure to stay well away from your home in the event of a gas explosion. Once you’re safe, it’s important to call 911 so that first responders can shut off the gas supply and take care of any damage that has occurred. Then, after your furnace has been inspected and repaired by Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, you can return to your residence.

How to Help Reduce the Chance of a Leak

Typically, the problems that cause a major gas leak don’t occur all at once. Instead, the effects of small problems accumulate over time until a major breach occurs. Therefore, the best way to prevent a gas leak is to have your furnace maintained regularly by Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing. The expert technicians at our company will be able to look for any minor problems so that they can fix them before tragedy strikes.

Keeping Your Furnace Working Correctly

At Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, all of our energies are devoted to keeping our customers happy and comfortable. Whether you need repair, maintenance, or installation services for your furnace or air conditioner, water heater installation, drain cleaning, garbage disposal installation, indoor air quality improvement, or one of our other services, we’re glad to take care of you. In business for more than 100 years, you can count on us to get any job in American Fork or a surrounding area done correctly the first time. To learn more about protecting your home from a gas leak, contact us at Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing today.

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