(Updated from February 2021) A gas leak at home is one of the most frightening malfunctions that can happen. This is mainly because the natural gas that powers your gas-powered appliances and leaks into the air in your home when it escapes from your home’s gas piping system includes high levels of carbon monoxide.

Inhaling carbon monoxide—especially in poorly ventilated areas, such as inside your home—can lead to serious injury, brain damage, and even death. Natural gas is also highly flammable, which means it poses a serious risk of causing a house fire.

Although a natural gas leak in your home has very serious consequences, it can be very difficult to actually detect. Natural gas is odorless and is usually not noticeable in the air inside your home. This means that the carbon monoxide in the natural gas can reach high levels inside your home without you even realizing that there is a gas leak in your home at all.

Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide alarm in your home at all times to detect dangerous air quality inside your house and watch out for some of the most common signs that can point to natural gas leakage in your home. Keep reading to learn more about 5 of the easiest and most effective ways to detect a gas leak in your home so that you can get the leak fixed as quickly as possible and avoid any of its potentially dangerous consequences.

1. Listen for Whistling

When gas leaks from pipes in your home’s gas piping system, the pipes emit a hissing or whistling sound as the gas escapes. These hissing and whistling noises vary in their intensity and can often be heard from inside the house.

That being said, sometimes these noises are not audible inside your house—so listening for hissing and whistling is not a foolproof way to detect a gas leak in your home. If you do hear hissing and whistling noises, however, that’s a big red flag that there might be gas leaking somewhere in your home’s gas piping system.

2. Notice Sulfuric Odors

Another simple way to detect a potential leak in your home is to watch out for the smell of sulfur inside your house—it smells similar to rotten eggs. Because natural gas is odorless, many gas suppliers deliberately add a sulfuric odor to the gas to alert homeowners to potentially harmful natural gas leakage in their home that might otherwise go unnoticed. 

3. Pay Attention to Your Body

The biggest danger is carbon monoxide poisoning, which is a potentially fatal condition that can occur as a result of inhaling elevated levels of carbon monoxide gas inside your home.

While carbon monoxide itself is invisible and odorless, there are many symptoms of the beginning stages of carbon monoxide poisoning that you should watch out for as signs of a potential gas leak in your home.

These symptoms include headaches, eye and throat irritation, nosebleeds, a feeling of lightheadedness, having trouble breathing, and even unexplained mood swings. If you experience one or more of these symptoms with no other discernible cause, you should consider the possibility that there might be a gas leak in your home.

4. Get a Gas Leak Detector

A gas leak detector is perhaps the most effective way to detect a gas leak in your home. Gas leak detectors are small and relatively inexpensive gadgets that test the levels of different gases in your home and let you know if any of them are at a dangerous or elevated level.

Different gas leak detectors detect different gases, but some of the gases that these detectors can reveal in your home include gases from ammonia, gasoline, hydrogen sulfide, industrial solvents, jet fuel, paint thinners, methane, propane, and many more.

5. Hire a Professional

If you suspect a natural gas leak in your home, the best way to deal with it is usually to bring a professional onto the scene. Trying to diagnose and repair a leak in your home on your own is not recommended and can be very dangerous unless you have the right skills and training to do it safely.

Accurate Leak Locators and Plumbing is a professional plumbing company that offers gas leak detection, inspection, and repair services. The team of experienced leak location experts at this family-owned, full-service plumbing company will be able to let you know for sure if there is a gas leak in your home, find where it is, and repair it at an affordable cost.

If you suspect a gas leak at home, don’t panic. Contact Accurate Leak Locators and Plumbing today and take advantage of their 24/7 emergency services to get your gas leak diagnosed, inspected, and repaired as quickly as possible.