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Mack Morris Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Smelling Gas? Here’s What To Do

It’s the time of year when our air conditioners have been put to bed for a while and our heating systems are taking over the comfort needs of the home. If you have a gas furnace in Ruckersville, VA, this means your heating needs are in good hands: gas furnaces today are more effective and efficient than ever before.

It doesn’t mean they don’t run into trouble though. Gas furnaces will likely see their fair share of repair needs over the course of their lifespans. The most vital of these is repairs is to fix a cracked heat exchanger. Let’s discuss why a bad heat exchanger problem is something to address as quickly as possible—and what to do if you start smelling gas before you call in a technician.

What is a heat exchanger?

The heat exchanger is the part of your furnace that collects the combustion gases the system creates. Those gases are hot, which, unsurprisingly, heats up the metal heat exchanger. Air is blown over the heat exchanger and warmed before being pushed into the home.

Why a cracked heat exchanger is a problem

You may have guessed this already. A cracked heat exchanger is bad news because it means there is gas leaking into your home. The cracks or fissures that occur in a heat exchanger happen due to time, age, and wear and tear. As the heat exchanger warms up, the metal expands slightly, opening up the cracks that often can’t be seen with the naked eye, allowing gas to enter your home. This requires prompt repair by a trained technician as it can otherwise put your family at risk and ruin your home comfort too.

What to do if you smell gas

Let’s say you turned on your gas furnace and you are noticing that you are smelling gas (it usually smells like rotten eggs or sulfur). What should you do? Follow these steps to keep yourself and anyone else in the home safe before getting on the phone for repairs.

  1. Turn off the furnace immediately!
  2. Leave the home as quickly as you can to reduce exposure, leaving doors and windows open to allow the gas to escape.
  3. Call local emergency personnel to alert them to the issue and get someone to check the house.
  4. Once the issue has been assessed and your home is safe to enter again, call for repairs. DON’T turn on your furnace until it is fixed!

A gas furnace that has a cracked heat exchanger can become a seriously dangerous problem to your home and even to the homes around you. You can prevent this issue from arising unnoticed with regular maintenance. However, if your furnace does develop this problem or any other repair need, it is a good idea to reach out to our team of professionals to get things fixed.

We can’t control the weather outside of your home, but we can control the weather inside your home. Contact Mack Morris Heating & Air Conditioning for your heating repair needs today.

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