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If you smell gas near your furnace, it could mean there is a dangerous gas leak and risk of fire or explosion. Smelling gas near your furnace can sometimes be normal, but if you notice a strong gas odor or hear a hissing sound, you should immediately turn your furnace off, exit your home and call 911 or your local gas company. 

A natural gas or propane furnace is a great heating option that is safe, affordable and efficient, and gas furnaces can save homeowners money. Gas is a more affordable option than electric energy sources, so a gas furnace with high efficiency can reduce heating bills by 50%. The efficiency of gas furnaces also cuts pollution in half, making it an option that is safer for the environment. 

Gas furnaces are also beneficial because they work quickly and reliably to keep your home warm so it’s comfortable. Many gas furnaces will continue working even if your home loses power. In addition, a gas furnace can add value to your home because many people searching for a new home prefer houses with gas heat. 

Even though gas furnaces present many benefits, they also pose some potential dangers to watch for. Fires, explosions and poisonous gas leaks can occur if you do not correctly maintain your furnace. It can be normal to smell gas near your furnace in some cases. However, smelling gas near your furnace can also indicate a life-threatening issue you need to address.

Preventive maintenance is crucial if you own a gas furnace because it can prevent potential dangers from occurring. Gas leaks are not always apparent at first, and the problems that cause them are not always noticeable. Regular inspections and maintenance can help you catch problems early.

Starting Your Furnace for the First Time in the Winter

While you soak up the sun and enjoy the warm seasons, your furnace collects dust, dirt and other particles. You might notice a faint burning odor when you turn your furnace on for the first time once winter hits. This is normal because it just means the furnace is burning off all of the particles that settled inside it. 

If the smell of burning dust is bothersome, you can open windows to circulate air throughout your house and help the odor dissipate. You can also prevent this odor by cleaning your furnace and changing the filter before use. This will reduce the amount of dust and dirt buildup and lessen the odor when you start the furnace. You can also schedule regular tune-ups that include cleaning to get your furnace ready for the winter season. 

Furnace odors can vary and indicate different issues. If your furnace is burning particles that have accumulated, the odor might linger a little longer, but it will smell more like burning dust than gas. A gas smell will resemble sulfur or the smell of rotten eggs and can indicate a more serious problem if it lingers or spreads throughout your house. 

If your furnace exhaust smells like gas or if your furnace smells like gas during startup, this is normal as long as the odor dissipates shortly after you turn the furnace on. If a gas smell lingers, you could be facing a dangerous situation. 

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

When you start your furnace, it’s normal to notice a faint gas smell around it as it cycles on. However, if you notice a recurring or frequent gas odor or a whistling or hissing sound near your furnace, there could be a dangerous gas leak. If you notice a strong gas odor that lingers or a hissing sound, it’s important to exit your home and call for help because it could indicate the presence of carbon monoxide (CO). 

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, life-threatening gas that releases when you burn fuel. Your gas furnace has a heat exchanger and flue pipe that safely release carbon monoxide outside of your home so you don’t breathe it in. This gas can release inside your home and build up if your furnace is old, if you block the venting system or if you fail to maintain your furnace properly. 

CO detectors are just as important as smoke detectors in your home. Carbon monoxide has no color or odor, so it’s important to have a carbon monoxide detector that will alert you if it is present in your home. It’s also important to regularly maintain your furnace. 

You can maintain your furnace by scheduling annual furnace maintenance from your local HVAC specialist. They will clean your furnace and inspect it to ensure there are no issues, such as cracks in the heat exchanger or flue pipe that could cause carbon monoxide to leak. You can also prevent carbon monoxide leaks by changing your filter regularly.

Symptoms

Inhalation of carbon monoxide causes the body to replace the blood’s oxygen with carbon monoxide because red blood cells take it in faster than oxygen. If you are exposed to this gas for too long, you may experience carbon monoxide poisoning, which causes dizziness and flu-like symptoms that include the following:

  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion

Carbon monoxide poisoning can also lead to death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accidental carbon monoxide poisoning causes 430 deaths and 50,000 hospital visits in the United States each year. Carbon monoxide exposure is especially dangerous when people are sleeping or intoxicated because death can occur before noticing symptoms. 

If you notice a strong gas odor in your home, exit your house with all of your family members and pets and call 911 or your local gas company immediately.

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

When you start your furnace, it’s normal to notice a faint gas smell around it as it cycles on. However, if you notice a recurring or frequent gas odor or a whistling or hissing sound near your furnace, there could be a dangerous gas leak. If you notice a strong gas odor that lingers or a hissing sound, it’s important to exit your home and call for help because it could indicate the presence of carbon monoxide (CO). 

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, life-threatening gas that releases when you burn fuel. Your gas furnace has a heat exchanger and flue pipe that safely release carbon monoxide outside of your home so you don’t breathe it in. This gas can release inside your home and build up if your furnace is old, if you block the venting system or if you fail to maintain your furnace properly. 

CO detectors are just as important as smoke detectors in your home. Carbon monoxide has no color or odor, so it’s important to have a carbon monoxide detector that will alert you if it is present in your home. It’s also important to regularly maintain your furnace. 

You can maintain your furnace by scheduling annual furnace maintenance from your local HVAC specialist. They will clean your furnace and inspect it to ensure there are no issues, such as cracks in the heat exchanger or flue pipe that could cause carbon monoxide to leak. You can also prevent carbon monoxide leaks by changing your filter regularly.

Symptoms

Inhalation of carbon monoxide causes the body to replace the blood’s oxygen with carbon monoxide because red blood cells take it in faster than oxygen. If you are exposed to this gas for too long, you may experience carbon monoxide poisoning, which causes dizziness and flu-like symptoms that include the following:

  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion

Carbon monoxide poisoning can also lead to death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accidental carbon monoxide poisoning causes 430 deaths and 50,000 hospital visits in the United States each year. Carbon monoxide exposure is especially dangerous when people are sleeping or intoxicated because death can occur before noticing symptoms. 

If you notice a strong gas odor in your home, exit your house with all of your family members and pets and call 911 or your local gas company immediately.

Contact Year Round Heating & Air Conditioning

Our certified technicians at Year Round Heating & Air Conditioning provide thorough furnace inspections and maintenance services that address minor problems before they become serious. You can also contact us to schedule a deluxe heating tune-up service to maintain your furnace, prolong its life and reduce your heating bills.

We also provide quality equipment and installation if you need a new furnace or wish to upgrade. With comprehensive annual maintenance plans that include tiered options, we can meet your specific needs at affordable costs. And we are accredited by the Better Business Bureau, so you can trust us to provide high-quality services and products.

Keep yourself and your family safe this season with a furnace inspection and tune-up service from Year Round Heating & Air Conditioning. Even if your furnace doesn’t smell like gas, it’s essential to keep it clean and well-maintained to prevent issues from arising. Stay warm this season with the peace of mind that your furnace is safe and in top shape for the months to come. Contact us to learn more about how we can help keep your furnace running safely and efficiently.