Is It Normal to Smell Gas Near a Furnace?

March 17, 2021
Heating System in Fieldale, VA

Wintertime can get cold in Martinsville, VA, and you’ll need a dependable furnace to keep your home warm. If you smell gas near the furnace, you might feel alarmed. It’s important to know when it is and isn’t normal to smell gas by a furnace so that you can stay safe and protect your household members.

Gas Odor at the Start of a Heating Cycle

If you happen to be standing right next to your furnace when it starts a heating cycle, it’s normal to detect a faint whiff of natural gas for just a couple of seconds. It takes a fraction of a second for the ignition or pilot to ignite the gas. For that brief period of time, you might smell the mercaptan added to the natural gas. This is normal, and the odor should go away within a couple of seconds.

Gas Odor During the Whole Heating Cycle

It’s not normal to keep smelling natural gas during an entire heating cycle. If the odor persists, your furnace may have a dirty combustion chamber or damaged seal. These problems require professional attention. You should get everyone out of your home before calling for emergency furnace repairs.

Gas Odor When There’s No Heating Cycle

You should never smell natural gas in your home when your furnace isn’t performing a heating cycle. If you detect the odor near the furnace or anywhere else in your house, this is an emergency. Get everyone out as quickly as possible. Once you’re safely away from the home, call to report a possible gas leak, and arrange for a furnace inspection.

McKinney Heating & Air Conditioning is the trusted provider of furnace repairs in Martinsville. You can also count on us for air conditioning repairs and heating and air conditioning maintenance, replacement and installation. Our indoor air quality solutions, generators, gas fireplaces and tankless water heaters keep you comfortable and safe year-round. To learn more about what to do if you smell gas when standing near your furnace, get in touch with us at McKinney Heating & Air Conditioning today.

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