The winters in College Station, TX are cold and wet and warrant the need for a reliable heating system. Gas furnaces are highly efficient, safe, and reliable. However, with a lack of maintenance, things can go wrong, and one of those things is leaking gas. It is important to recognize the warning signs that your furnace is leaking gas. Here are a few reasons why furnaces may leak gas and some warning signs to be on the lookout for.
Why Furnaces Leak Gas
The most common reason for a gas leak is a cracked heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is where the combustion of gas to create heat occurs. If it becomes cracked, it will leak gas into the areas surrounding the furnace. A fan blows air over the hot heat exchanger to distribute warm air through your ducts to the rest of your house. If the heat exchanger is cracked, this air will contain gas fumes and harmful carbon monoxide.
A heat exchanger typically cracks as a result of overheating. When a furnace does not get enough airflow, it will overheat. Causes of overheating include little to no airflow due to dirty air filters, blockages in your ductwork, or ductwork that is not big enough for your system. A system that is too big for your home can also result in overheating.
Signs of a Furnace Gas Leak
The number one sign of a gas leak is the smell of sulfur or rotten eggs. This is the smell of mercaptan, a chemical that gas manufacturers put in natural gas and propane since they are odorless. If you experience this smell coming from your ducts or near your furnace, you need to turn the gas supply to your home off and call us immediately.
You also might be able to hear a gas leak in the form of a hissing sound. The gas going into your system is under pressure, so if there is a crack in the heat exchanger or a pinhole in your gas line, you will hear it.
Another sign that you may have a gas leak is that the plants in your home are dying. Plants are very susceptible to gas because it displaces and starves them of oxygen.
There are also several physical signs that you may have a gas leak, including dizziness and nausea. In the next section, we discuss the health implications of a gas leak.
Health Risks of a Leaking Gas Furnace
The physical signs of a gas leak and carbon monoxide exposure include:
- Difficulty breathing
- An overwhelming urge to go to sleep
- Sinus irritation
- Trouble with your memory
If you or anyone you know is experiencing these signs, you should exit your home immediately and call a professional to check for a gas leak. Carbon monoxide poisoning is deadly if it’s not addressed immediately.
Your Trusted Furnace Company
At Cover HVAC, we are your go-to HVAC company in the College Station area. We service all makes and models of heaters. If your system is showing signs of a gas leak or if you just need regular maintenance, give us a call today. We can also assist you with all your air conditioning and indoor air quality needs.