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Tips for the Safe and Efficient Use of Natural Gas in Your Home

Tips for the Safe and Efficient Use of Natural Gas in Your Home By Sarah Clark
HIPhome Columnist
December 31, 1969

Natural gas is used in many homes for heating, cooking, and drying. Learn what you can do to ensure the safe use of gas in your home. You'll also learn how you can improve the efficiency of appliances and heating units powered by this natural energy source.

Smelling Gas in Your Home - a Sign of Danger

First, if you ever smell gas in your home, you should exercise caution as it could be an indication of a gas leak. If the odor of gas in your home is very strong, you may want to leave it immediately and call the fire department for assistance. If the gas odor is not very strong, you should still be careful; do not light any matches or turn electrical switches on or off.

Maintaining Gas Appliances

Gas appliances need the following regular maintenance to ensure their efficiency and safe use.
  • Prevent the chance of fire by making sure lint does not build up in your dryer's vent hose.
  • Looks for signs that a gas appliance is a safety risk; warning signs may include soot, a lingering pungent smell, a yellow flame, and overheating.
  • Never use a gas stovetop element to heat your home.
  • Keep all materials that may produce flammable vapors, such as painting materials and gasoline cans, away from gas appliances.

Furnace Maintenance

Check your furnace's air filter every month and replace it if necessary; well-functioning filters improve the energy efficiency of the furnace. If you have a blower, check it for deterioration. Also, make sure the area surrounding the furnace is free of any combustible materials.

Other Helpful Tips

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors be installed in homes near sleeping areas. Appliances fueled by natural gas may produce CO, which can cause death upon exposure at high levels.

Finally, have your gas appliances and furnace examined by a qualified heating contractor each year to check for existing or emerging problems. Now you're on your way to having gas units and appliances characterized by efficiency and safety.

About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer based in Arlington, Virginia.



*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.
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