Natural gas is typically a safe and efficient energy source for your home, but occasionally a leak can occur in a gas line. These leaks can lead to dangerous situations if you don't catch the problem early enough. The following are five signs of a gas leak that you need to be aware of.
1. Foul Odors
Although natural gas is odorless in nature, the utility companies include an additive that gives natural gas its signature odor of rotting eggs. This odor ensures that you pick up a whiff even if the leak is relatively small. If you notice a rotten egg fragrance in your home, leave immediately and do not enter your house until it is inspected for a leak. Even a small spark, such as from flipping a light switch, can ignite gas in the air.
2. Dead Vegetation
Leaks along the main supply line can be harder to notice since the leak will occur underground, so odors aren't likely to make it to the surface. For this reason, it's a good idea to have a basic idea of where the gas line runs. If you notice plants dying, discoloring, or falling into ill health along the gas line route, then gas may be leaking into the soil and poisoning the plants.
3. Hissing Sounds
Gas lines are under slight pressure to ensure that the gas continues to flow through the line as expected. When a leak occurs, the line loses some pressure as the gas escapes. This means that you may be able to hear a slight hissing sound if you have a leak. Hissing indicates an active leak, so you need to leave the house until the leak can be found and repaired.
4. Physical Malaise
Leaks in your gas lines can affect air quality, thus leading to health issues. You or other household members may experience unexplained nausea, headaches, dizziness, or difficulty breathing. Those with underlying health conditions or the very young may experience symptoms first or more severely.
5. Elevated Bills
Gas that is leaking is wasted gas, which will be reflected in your utility bills. If your gas usage has gone up on your bill but you haven't been using more fuel than usual, then there may be a hidden leak in your home or in the main delivery line that runs into your home.
If you suspect that you may have a gas leak, turn off the gas supply to your home and contact a gas line leak detection service immediately.