Furnace Exhaust Smells like Gas? Here’s the Solution

gas smell from furnace

Most residential furnaces run on gas, so gas can smell from furnace systems when there’s a leak. Propane and natural gas are the most popular types used in heating systems. The gas has a distinct smell to ensure that it alerts you when there is a leak.

The fact that you smell gas from the furnace exhaust could result from its design rather than a problem. Still, you must be alert since your heating system may malfunction.

Knowing what to do if you notice a gas smell from the furnace is essential as a homeowner. It would be best if you found out the origins of the gas smells and what could be causing it. Read on to find out more.

What to Do When the Furnace Exhaust Smells Like Gas

Your most significant goal is to ensure your safety as you try to deal with a gas smell from the furnace. That said, there is no need to panic as sometimes the furnace works just as it should.

When looking at a course of action after noticing a gas smell from a furnace, it’s essential to understand what could be encouraging it. That way, you can know how drastic your measures need to be.

If you don’t know what to do, you can ask for directions from experts while still exercising safety. So what should you do when your furnace exhaust smells like gas?

Open the Windows to Allow Cross Ventilation

Opening the windows to allow ventilation to clear the gas smell works when the smell originates from burning dust buildup. The buildup occurs when you leave the furnace idle and unused for months. It settles on the burners and the heat exchanger.

Once you switch on the furnace for the first time in a while, the gas first clears out the dust and debris. Usually, the smell should clear in a few hours, but it’s faster when you open the windows.

Make A Fast Exist From Your Home

For instance, propane is usually located outside but close to your home when used to run the furnace. This is because propane ignites easily, so having it away from the house ensures safety. Even the slightest emission through the furnace exhaust expands into your space and poses a hazard.

Your furnace may leak if there is a smell in the exhaust. This may likely occur when you have a malfunctioning furnace. It’s easy to notice it spreading through the furnace exhaust since it has that distinct smell.

The smell of gas from your furnace exhaust may not be the only thing that indicates you have a gas leak. The gas detectors would go off, and there would be a whistling sound around the furnace.

The safest thing to do after noticing it is to exit your home without doing anything that could cause a spark, such as lighting a match or using your cell phone.

Get In Touch With a Trusted Furnace Service

Getting in touch with a trusted furnace service should help put you at ease about what is happening with your furnace. It’s typical for there to be a gas smell from a furnace, especially immediately after switching it on. The amount of smell is minimal and should stop shortly. Check that’s is the case before panicking.

If the smell persists, especially when the furnace is running, you might have a problem with your furnace. In that case, don’t delay contacting a furnace repair service to help you find a solution. An expert can help you repair or replace your furnace.

When calling for help, it’s best to ensure you are outside the house in an open-air space. This reduces the chances of igniting the gas.

Shut Off the Gas Supply Tank

After ensuring you are safely outside your home, you can trace the gas tank or meter to shut the supply. This part finalizes the most you should attempt to cut off the emission into your home.

Don’t go back into your home even after doing this. It’s essential to wait for a go-ahead from heating contractors to return to your home.

What if Your Outdoor Furnace Vent Smells Like Gas?

An outdoor furnace vent smells like gas sometimes since it’s designed to let out by-products of combustion. If you smell gas from it, you should take it as an indication of a problem with the vent.

Ensure that your home is well ventilated, and then seek assistance from heating experts. Calling the experts will help place the cause of the smell and if it needs to cause you concern.

Why Safety is a Priority When the Furnace Exhaust Smells like Gas

Suppose your furnace smells like gas when running. In that case, your senses must be alert to ensure safety. A gas smells from the furnace exhaust as it runs, and a hissing sound from the furnace should have you at the outdoor meter to cut the supply off.

The gas is flammable, and the fumes are also quite harmful. For instance, exposure to gas could lead to poisoning, which then causes organ failure. Sparks from an electrical charge or lighting matches are also a significant safety risk when you can smell the gas.

Please don’t attempt to grab anything when you feel the smell is more pungent than it usually is. Use a neighbor’s phone to call for help if you have to, but whatever you do, don’t stay in a home with an overpowering gas smell.

Final Words

It’s not unusual for a furnace to smell like gas, especially when switched on, but the smell should clear after a while. Make all the recommended moves in a way that does not cause panic to you or those around you. Even after doing all the things you should do, it’s essential to schedule maintenance services for your furnace.

The worst-case scenario about having a gas smell from furnace exhaust is that you have a gas leak. Propane is highly flammable, so it’s essential to have gas detectors and know how to use your senses to detect its fumes.