Affordable Heating and Power
When you mention using natural gas in your home, most people immediately think of using it for cooking or as a heating source. But because of the fear of having a gas leak in house, electricity is the most popular choice for homeowners. However, despite the possibility of a gas leak, natural gas is a commodity for several other purposes all year long, enabling a homeowner to reduce their energy costs, providing opportunities for residents to cut back on energy costs because it is less expensive than the most popular commodity – electricity.
Natural gas has its danger with gas leaks, but it can fulfill so many of our everyday needs. Here, are some of the ways that natural gas is being used in homes today:
One of the most used ways to cook and most professional cooks prefer gas over electric power. Gas provides better control over the temperature, letting you have more exact precision in preparing food. Also, natural gas uses less energy than electric stoves because heats up quicker and cools down quicker. Today, cookstoves are made with an electric ignition instead of the constant pilot light, using approximately 40% less natural gas an eliminating the possibility of a gas leak.
A home with natural gas will usually have a gas water heater as well. Not only is a natural gas water heater preferred because it cost less than electric units, but the water heats up faster, thus using less water.
Natural gas is thought as a source to heat your home, but there are air conditioners powered by natural gas too. While they have a higher price tag upfront, over the lifetime of the air unit, it is a money saver and is becoming more popular. With natural gas air condition, your dependency on the electric grid is lessened, so when there are those brownouts in the middle of a hot summer, you’ll still have air conditioning!
Lighting the Fireplace
A lot of people enjoy the glow and warmth of a fireplace, but nobody wants to gather the wood, fear sparks flying, or clean up the ashes afterward. With a fireplace powered with natural gas logs, the glow and warmth are still possible, efficiently, safely, and without the mess.
Drying Your Clothes
Clothes dryers powered by natural gas can save you as much as 50 percent on your energy costs in comparison electric models. Gas dryers can dry two loads of clothes compared to one load in an electric dryer for the same cost. Natural gas dryers will dry your clothes faster as well because it uses a large quantity of absorbent, dry, air that circulates through the clothes.
Now that we have covered 5 of the most common uses of natural gas, we’re going to answer often asked questions about gas leaks such as what a gas leak smells like and what are some gas leak in house symptoms that you should be aware of, and when you have a gas leak, what can happen.
What are the signs of a gas leak in your home?
While natural gas is an affordable, reliable, and safe energy source that is colorless, and if not for the additive that smells like “rotten egg” or “sulfur” when there is a gas leak, it would be odorless too. But there is a level of danger to this energy source too. Such as carbon monoxide poisoning from a slow gas leak.
One of the best ways to avoid any harm from this energy source is education. Once you know how to recognize a gas leak and how to prevent potential harm, you’ll find the benefits of natural gas far outweigh electricity as an energy source. As long as your appliances are located in well-ventilated spaces, natural gas is flammable, yet non-toxic with the right combination of oxygen to an ignition source.
The signs and symptoms of a natural gas leak:
- High gas bills
- Headaches and Nausea
- The smell of rotten eggs and sulfur in your home
- Breath difficulty or irregular breathing
- Depression, Fatigue
- Chest Pain
- Appetite Loss, Dizziness, Light-Headedness
- Ears ringing, nose bleeds
- Symptoms of Flu
- Dead plants
What do you do if you suspect a gas leak?
Today, over 170 million Americans depend on natural gas according to the statistics from the American Gas Association. Anyone that uses natural gas at home or a business structure, should know exactly where their gas meter is. If you suspect a gas leak, such as hearing a hissing sound or smell rotten egg, take the following steps immediately.
- If you notice any open flames or sparks, evacuate the area immediately and once you are in a safe distance, dial 911
- If there aren’t any obvious issues anything, check that all burners and the oven on the gas stove are off
- If the burners and oven are off but there is still suspension of a gas lead, do not turn on any lights or burn any candles, use a flashlight only
- Open every door and window for ventilation
- If there are any sudden changes in your grass, plants, or shrubs like dying or turning a brown/rusty color, this could indicate a gas leak
- If you notice gas pouring out of any pipes, evacuate the area and call 911 once you are at a safe distance
- If you can turn the gas off yourself, do not turn it on again until the gas company has arrived and thoroughly checked your home
Is a gas leak dangerous?
If you have natural gas in your home, it is important to know the signs of a gas leak. That is the best way to protect your family and home in case of one, and by knowing these things, you’ll know when there is enough of a gas leak to be a threat.
Because natural gas is extremely combustible, a large leak combined with any type of spark can cause an explosion and/or fire. Sparks can come from several sources, such as electrical devices, flipping a light switch on, hanging up a landline phone, etc. The results of this combination are devastating, resulting in the loss of home and/or life. Even the smallest gas leak and the smallest spark can cause an explosion.
Can a gas leak in your house kill you?
Appliances that are incorrectly fitted or lack maintenance can leak carbon monoxide gas that is highly poisonous. Because it is odorless, you won’t see it or taste it, but because of the additive that gas manufacturers put in it, you should smell rotten eggs or Sulphur. A gas leak can cause brain damage and other long-term health problems as well as kill quickly without any warning if not addressed.
Poisoning from natural gas is identified by the following symptoms as wells as others that we covered earlier in this piece:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
- Stomach pain
Why do gas leaks happen?
Today, natural gas is as common and just as important in our lives as electricity and water. And like water pipes, gas pipes age and after many years, they may bend, warp, even break, especially those made from cast iron or other sub-optimal materials. Exposure and use of corroded old gas lines will wear away from any outer material and form a hairline fracture.
When these gas lines wear, a gas leak may occur, such as the gas lines to a gas appliance, like your stove or water heater. The gas will begin seeping out into the open areas as it pushes oxygen out, filling the space. This can also happen if any of your natural gas-powered appliances becomes detached from the gas line, a common occurrence where there are earthquakes or areas where the ground naturally shifts when it goes from dry to wet.
Researchers at NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) report that as consumers are choosing more eco-friendly ways of living, they are choosing to go with natural gas over electric to cook, cool, and heat their homes They have found natural gas, even with possible gas leaks, is more energy-efficient and safer for the environment. And while it has not been fully studied over a long period which source of energy has less impact on sourcing, for home consumption at this time, natural gas is the most requested. Suspect a gas leak in your home? Call A O Dowd Plumbing Inc. today at (909) 684-1915 for expert gas leak service in Fontana, CA.