Furnace

There’s a reason utility companies put additives in natural gas to ensure you can’t miss its pungent odor: gas leaks can be quite dangerous. A gas furnace is a common source of gas leaks in an Oak Harbor home, meaning that you need to be vigilant when it comes to this piece of equipment. When you smell gas from your furnace, though, it’s not necessarily a cause for concern. To learn more about when you should take action, check out this troubleshooting guide from Island Heating & Air Conditioning.

How a Gas Furnace Works

When your thermostat senses that your home has dropped below a certain temperature, it sends an electrical signal to a relay in your furnace. This starts the draft inducer in your furnace’s flue pipe to remove unburned gas and any carbon monoxide that the system releases. Once the draft inducer is operating, the system opens the flow of gas to the burner so that the pilot light can light the burner. Then, the blower motor turns the blower fan to pull air through the furnace, heating the air in the process. If this process occurs out of sequence, you could experience problems with your furnace.

Common Furnace Problems

A problem with your draft inducer can cause significant and even dangerous problems with your furnace. If the draft inducer can’t remove unburned natural gas, that gas will be released into your home. Therefore, if your draft inducer is making unusual noises, it’s important to have Island Heating & Air Conditioning take a look at it as soon as possible. Another issue that can arise is that your pilot light may go out. Although this isn’t as common on newer furnaces, it can still happen on occasion.

In either case, you could experience a gas release in your home. You will know there’s a problem because you will smell gas in most or all of your home over a sustained period of time. On the other hand, a small problem with the sequencing of the components of your furnace will also result in a release of natural gas. However, these releases tend to be small and are not of much concern. It is good to mention this issue to Island Heating & Air Conditioning during your regular seasonal maintenance so the technician can ensure there aren’t any serious problems with your system.

How to Protect Yourself

If you suspect a gas leak in your home, don’t try to be a hero. Immediately evacuate your home and call the fire department. Your local fire department has specialized tools that can “sniff” for natural gas in your home to see if you’re in danger. If there is a gas leak, your local utility company may need to stop by and shut off the gas supply until the problem can be fixed. At Island Heating & Air Conditioning, we can take care of a variety of serious problems associated with gas leaks in homes around Oak Harbor.

Other Potential Sources of a Gas Leak

It’s important to remember that there are other potential sources of a gas leak in a typical home. Therefore, if your furnace doesn’t seem to be having a problem, you still need to be cautious if you smell gas. A gas-fired water heater, for example, can have many of the same problems as a gas furnace. Since these devices require a sudden surge of gas when new water comes into the tank, you may only notice a problem with your water heater periodically. Gas stoves, dryers, grills, and other appliances should also be properly maintained and inspected to ensure they’re not leaking gas into your home.

Electric Furnace Pros and Cons

Even with the newest and safest gas furnaces from Island Heating & Air Conditioning, there is always a small risk that’s inherent with any gas furnace. To eliminate this risk, some people choose to replace their gas furnaces with an electric furnace. An electric furnace tends to be less expensive upfront and also runs quieter with fewer odors than a gas furnace. Plus, an electric furnace is more efficient in terms of energy converted to heat. The downside is that electricity is much more expensive than natural gas. This means that an electric furnace is commonly much more expensive to operate. It’s important to discuss your options with an expert from Island Heating & Air Conditioning before making a final decision.

We’re Here to Answer Your Questions

When you have questions about the operation of your HVAC system, the pros at Island Heating & Air Conditioning are ready to answer. Plus, we can install, maintain, and repair your HVAC equipment so that you can keep your home comfortable. We can also clean and repair your ducts, install air purification systems, and much more. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, you can be sure that we’ll take good care of you. To learn more about gas furnaces, contact us at Island Heating & Air Conditioning today.

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March 8, 2021 7:49 pm