By NICHOLAS SAKELARIS | CoServ
Without fail, when the first cold snap hits North Texas, CoServ Gas gets a flood of calls from Customers concerned about a burning smell inside their homes.
Most of the time, it’s normal and there’s nothing to worry about.
“We’re going to get calls because they think they smell gas, but a lot of times that’s just the dust burning,” said Jason Walker, CoServ’s Director of Gas Operations.
What happens is that the heater typically goes unused for more than half the year in Texas, so dust builds up on furnace and ducts. When the unit turns on for the first time each season, the hot air consumes the dust, causing a burning smell.
Natural gas is odorless and colorless in its natural state, but all the gas CoServ delivers to Customers’ homes includes mercaptan, an odor that smells like rotten eggs or sulfur, distinctly different than the smell of dust being burned off, Jason said.
The end of fall and the start of winter is also a great time to winterize your house, including:
- Smoke alarms/carbon monoxide detector: Check the batteries in these devices and test them to make sure they are working properly.
- HVAC: Have a licensed contractor check your heating and cooling systems during the shoulder months when you may not need either one.
- Filters: Change out your HVAC filters
- Fireplace: Ensure the chimney flue is cleaned out and free of debris before you light any fires.
- Natural gas appliances: Have a specially trained natural gas plumber check your natural gas appliances, especially the heater and fireplace if they sit dormant during the offseason.
State law requires that you call 811 before you dig deeper than 16 inches
Here’s what to do or not do if you smell natural gas.
Do: Leave the house or building, walk a safe distance away and CALL 911
Do: Call the CoServ Gas emergency number (844) 330-0763
Do not: Operate electrical switches, telephones or appliances
Do not: Operate a vehicle in the area