Many homeowners prefer gas furnaces because they’re convenient, consistent, efficient, and cheaper.
But gas furnaces can pose danger in any household if certain standards of safety are not maintained.
The biggest concern are leaks. While this can happen in any type of gas furnace, the danger of potential gas furnace leaks is higher in old furnaces.
Gas furnace leaks can suffocate silently or escalate into an explosive level. That’s why it’s very important to know how to keep your gas furnace in peak efficiency in order to prevent gas furnace leaks. It’s also important to know how to identify the signs if ever one occurs.
Ways to prevent gas furnace leaks
There’s no shortage of furnace installation how-tos online, but it’s not enough to make a complicated system work properly. Having a professional install it is one of the best ways to prevent gas furnace leaks.
For one, the furnace will be installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications, so most of the unnecessary malfunctions will be eliminated.
You won’t have to worry about the flue pipe being hit or placing a strain on the furnace from the beginning which will then be a cause of a gas furnace leak.
Regularly replace the air filter
Clogged air filters will make your furnace work harder by forcing air through your house. This will eventually cause a crack in the heat exchanger due to overheating, and that crack is where the dangerous gases will leak from.
Having your furnace professionally checked is the “first line of defense against the silent killer” according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The silent killer is the carbon monoxide fumes that a faulty furnace will emit.
Professional service technicians will be able to determine if there are impending problems that may lead to gas furnace leaks or the exact location of a defect.
They can also accurately check for leaks by using special gas furnace leak detectors like a combustible gas analyzer or carbon monoxide detector.
Identifying gas furnace leaks
Knowing the signs of a leak is just as important. This will help you take the appropriate emergency response.
This is the easiest way to detect gas furnace leaks. Gas is, by nature, odorless. Thiols has been added to it for easy detection. It’s the rotten-egg aroma that you smell when a gas is leaking.
But the problem is, sometimes, your nose will fail you. So this brings us to the best way of identifying a leak.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommends that homes should have a carbon monoxide detector near every sleeping area. Choose gas detectors that can detect leaks as low as 10ppm.
Check for a low, hissing sound when you stand near the furnace. This means that there’s a leak somewhere in the system.
Soap & water solution
Mix one tablespoon of liquid soap with one cup of water and then pour the solution into a spray bottle.
Start spraying it on the pipes to check for leaks. If you see bubbles forming on a specific area of the pipe, that’s where gas is escaping from.
For accurate prevention and identification of gas furnace leaks, it’s always better to seek the help of a professional. A professional can perform a thorough furnace check that will save you and your family from potential accidents.