Why We Love Natural Gas Smell (And You Should, Too!)

Cute skunk from Photobucket about natural gas.There is only one instance when we can say for certain that we love a foul smell, and that’s the pungent smell of natural gas leaks in the home. Why should we love that smell? Because without it, gas leaks would be completely undetectable until it’s too late.

A short sad story: When I was young, one of the families of some of my friends had a gas leak in their furnace. There were four deaths and one person who spent the rest of her life in a coma. I am very insistent that you take care of you equipment because I lost childhood friends needlessly.

What Makes Natural Gas So Dangerous?

When natural gas is sealed up tightly in pipes, it doesn’t pose much danger. It is only when it leaks from these pipes that it can become a problem. In its natural state in the ground, natural gas is completely invisible and has no smell at all. If it were brought to you home like this, if a pipe were to became damaged or an appliance was leaking natural gas, you would never know until you started feeling sick.

Symptoms of Natural Gas Poisoning

Exposure to natural gas can cause a range of symptoms, and in the most severe cases it can cause death. Symptoms of exposure include:

  • Headaches
  • Trouble breathing, or a feeling of breathlessness
  • Tiredness, fatigue, or lethargy
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Confusion, memory loss
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of consciousness

How Can We Make Natural Gas Safer?

Being able to detect a gas leak is the most important way to make it safe to use in the home. Gas companies add a chemical to it that adds a distinct odor making it easy to detect in the home. What does natural gas smell like? Rotten eggs. It is an especially terrible odor that we love because that rancid smell saves lives.

What To Do If You Suspect a Natural Gas Leak in Your House

  • If the smell is strong, or if anyone in the home experiencing symptoms of natural gas poising, get out of the house immediately and call the fire department. They have the proper equipment, including sophisticated gas leak detectors, to determine the source of the leak and seal it off.
  • If the smell is not strong, check your appliances to see if they are working properly. Common culprits are stove burners left on with no flame, or pilot lights in stoves and water heaters that have blown out.
  • If all your appliances appear to be working properly, check the incoming gas pipes for any damage or leaks at any joints. Soap placed over suspected leaks will bubble if gas is coming out, or a commercial gas leak detector will sound an alarm at even the smallest leaks.
  • If you cannot determine the location of the leak, call the gas company or the fire department for assistance. They are happy to come out, even for the smallest gas leaks, to make sure your home is safe.
  • We are also able to find the leaks and fix them as well.

Natural gas is an affordable, clean-burning source of fuel that is being used in more than 50 percent of households across the country. Knowing how to use it properly, and loving that natural gas smell, will make sure that you and your family are safe from any potential danger.

Your can always depend on us for all your HVAC needs. Just call us at 707-953-3345.

About Chris Carpenter

Chris Carpenter has owned Affordable Heating and Air for 25 years. Chris is a fully factory-trained technician with a wealth of knowledge about heating and air conditioning. He enjoys educating homeowners about the pros and cons of each systems so they can make an informed decision when addressing their needs. Chris’s son and business partner, Paul, has been working with him for the last three years and their key to success is “being professional, honest and forthright in all our dealings and treating people as they would like to be treated.” You can reach Chris by calling 707-953-3345 at Affordable Heating and Air.

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