For the past few years, I would occasionally notice a natural gas smell. Sometimes it was when I was out on the patio, others it would be when I went into the unfinished side of the basement or even other places in the house. By the time I grabbed someone to confirm what I had smelled, the scent was gone. So I chalked it up to a paranoia or my incredibly sensitive snout! My husband thought perhaps it was just the water heater kicking in.
I smelled it again on Wednesday, and as usual ignored it. But yesterday, Thursday, I started thinking about it and decided what the heck, I'm at the house all day, I'm going to call Peco, the local energy company and have them come take a look (or smell). The person showed up in under an hour and since I was having some outdoor painting done, said that I was probably smelling that. But I explained that I had experienced this the day before and at other times and so he got his machine and went to investigate.
First the basement....he went to the water heater: no problem, next the furnace (which was installed in 2010)....briiiinnnngggggggg, the alarm went off! The culprit was the pipe in the furnace that connects to the thermostat. Based on where it was, the smell would go through the duct work, so I was right! He recommended I call my heating people and come have them fix it, and he shut it off till they got there. He also did the "soap" test, which is kind of interesting. If you put liquid soap where you think there might be a leak, it will bubble, if gas is leaking out!
Then we headed outside where the gas comes into the house. Sure enough, briiiinggggg again! The meter was leaking gas, so he replaced it. That's why I smelled it on the patio. I thanked him profusely, saying that I'm glad he proved that I wasn't crazy. He replied that he couldn't really comment on that, and referred me to my husband for that verdict....smart guy.
Anyways, I called the heating folks, and they were out in less than 2 hours and all is fixed. I feel pretty good about this week...first proved that I am allergic to penicillin and now prevented my house from blowing up! So my message to you as you start the weekend...trust your nose. It knows!