How Long to Air Out a House After a Gas Leak?

How soon gas will dissipate and what can happen if it lingers

Written by Olivia Paxton. Updated on How Long to Air Out a House After a Gas Leak

Gas leaks can happen for different reasons. You may simply forget to turn the stove off when leaving your house, or there may be something wrong with your gas lines. No matter the reason, the fact is that you suddenly realize that your home is probably full of gas now, and you are not there to fix it!

We can imagine how stressful this situation can be for you, especially if you suddenly realize that you have a gas stove left on at home! This is why in this article we will explain what you shall do in order to make the gas dissipate faster.

And also, you will learn how much time it usually takes to air your house out if any gas leakage did take place.

Related: How Long Is Spilled Gas Flammable?

I Left the Gas On. How Long Will It Take to Air the House Out?

You might not be aware of this, but natural gas is actually odorless. This is why all the gas companies mix a component that has a very unpleasant smell in order to make it possible for the users to detect a gas leak if it takes place.

So, if one day you smell a scent that reminds you of rotten eggs or sulfur, and you are absolutely sure that it does not come from your pantry, then you are dealing with the gas leak!

But how do you deal with it to clear your house from this smell and from the dangerous cause of it?

We recommend you prepare yourself ahead so that if you do have to face the gas leak in your home, you know for sure what to do and how long to air the house out in order to get rid of the gas completely.

As for the time needed for airing the house out after the gas leak, there is no specific period of time set for this situation. In fact, the amount of time you need to spend on airing the house out depends on several factors.

I Left the Gas On. How Long Will It Take to Air the House Out
Credits: Benjaminlion, via

First of all, it is the size of the house. Smaller property will take less time to air it out in comparison to a large two or three-story house with many rooms.

Second, the location of your house also matters a lot. For instance, if the building is located in an open lot, then it will be much easier for the fresh air to come from the outside in and take the gas and its smell out of the property. On the contrary, if your house is situated in a cramped space, it will take more time for airing it out.

Also, it does matter what type of gas we are talking about. If you are using propane in your property, it will take significantly more time for it to dissipate since propane is heavier than natural gas. In comparison to propane, natural gas will evaporate faster since it is lighter than air.

I Left the Gas On. How Long Will It Take to Air the House Out
Credits: Andrea Piacquadio, via

Related:How Much Propane Does a Gas Fireplace Use?

How Long Does It Take For Propane to Dissipate?

So, if you are using propane in your house for fulfilling all the basic household needs, such as using a gas stove, etc., dealing with the gas leak in this case will take you more time in comparison to natural gas. Usually, to air propane out of your home, you will need at least two hours of proper airing.

Of course, you need to take certain factors into consideration, such as the size of the property, the size of the leak, etc. Even weather conditions matter!

See, if the weather is pretty cold or even chilly outside, this gas vapors will be kept low and collected together longer since propane is heavier than air. On the contrary, warmer weather will make it disappear faster. But in any case, there is no specific timing for this process that you can rely on.

How Long Does It Take For Propane to Dissipate
Credits: Aleksandr Litvinuk, via

How Fast Does Natural Gas Dissipate?

With natural gas, it is somewhat different. Since natural gas is lighter than the air, and it is also lighter than propane, airing it out will be easier and it will take less time. In comparison to propane which tends to accumulate, natural gas is lighter and evaporates more quickly.

In general, to air your whole house out completely in case of a natural gas leak, you will need around an hour at least. This way, you can be sure that no gas is left in your property.

How Fast Does Natural Gas Dissipate
Credits: David de Lossy, via

With all this in mind, you will now be able to figure out how much time you will need to air your house if you do happen to have a gas leak. And please keep in mind that all the amounts of time we have provided here are approximate.

In practice, the more time you spend airing your house out, the more thoroughly it will be done, and the faster you will manage to get rid of gas and its odor.

Checking for Gas Leaks in Your HomeChecking for Gas Leaks in Your Home

What to Do If You Accidentally Left a Gas Stove On Without the Flame?

If you suddenly realize that you have a gas stove left on without flame at home, and you are not there right now to turn it off, try not to panic. This could happen for many reasons. You could forget to turn the stove off when leaving the house, or you were in a hurry to clean up after lunch and so you didn’t get a gas burner shut off all the way.

Anyway, each of these situations can be very dangerous both for you and for your family members who remain at home.

This is why we call on you to adhere to our advice and follow a few simple yet very helpful basic safety measures in case of a gas leak.

  • If you don’t smell the gas, turn the stove off.
  • If you do smell the gas, turn the stove off and leave immediately!
  • Avoid fire and electricity
  • Call for help
  • Check for any gas leaks
  • take precautions

And now let us explain in detail what each of these steps implies.

What to Do If You Accidentally Left a Gas Stove On Without the Flame
Credits: Photospirit, via

Is There No Gas Smell? Then Simply Turn the Stove Off

If you know for sure that you left your stove on, but when you come back home you don’t smell the gas odor and you see the flame burning, simply turn it off. The flame shows that the gas is being burnt so everything is fine. No gas is accumulating in the room.

Is There No Gas Smell Then Simply Turn the Stove Off
Credits: mykeyruna,via

What If You Smell the Gas?

Well, in this case you need to act quickly! If you can sense the gas odor, it means that it is escaping into the air. Turn the stove off, and leave the building immediately. You might think you should open the windows and doors to air the property, but please resist that urge! It will delay your departure, and besides, it may cause toxic fumes to spread beyond your home.

What If You Smell the Gas
Credits: gogik83, via

Avoid Fire And Electricity

See, if there is already enough gas in the air, the presence of the flame can cause a fire. So do not turn on or off any electrical or gas items, such as lights, appliances, gas fireplaces, or even cell phones.

Also, avoid sparking a flame by lighting a candle. And in case your car is in the attached garage, do not drive it either. Turning on the electrical ignition could potentially ignite the gas and start a fire!

Avoid Fire And Electricity
Credits: welcomia, via

Call For Help

Once you smell the gas in your house or apartment, take everyone out and call 911 or your local gas company’s emergency number. They will come and inspect your home, and most likely, they will turn off the gas.

Do not try to turn the exterior gas valve by yourself! Instead, be sure to stay outside until the gas emergency service arrives and fixes everything.

Call For Help
Credits: Evgen_Prozhyrko, via

Can You Sense the Smell Of Gas, But Nothing Is On?

In this case, you are definitely dealing with the gas leak. In this case, leave immediately and call 911 or your local gas company.

Can You Sense the Smell Of Gas, But Nothing Is On
Credits: ponsulak, via

Remember Of Precautions

As a general safety measure, consider buying and installing an automatic shut-off valve for the stove in case it does not already have one. In addition, you might want to add gas leak detectors, as well as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These devices are best to be placed near each of your gas appliances.

And of course, make sure that your fire extinguisher is pressurized and operable once a year.

Remember Of Precautions
Credits: welcomia, via

Symptoms Of the Gas Poisoning

It’s not always that we can notice we have left our gas burners turned on. You might not turn them off completely before going to bed, and by the morning, your whole house would be full of gas. Since carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas, once it gets inhaled, it enters a human’s bloodstream and mixes with haemoglobin. Once it happens, the blood is no longer able to carry oxygen. Thus the lack of oxygen leads to body’s cells and tissues failure and death.

And since such a situation can lead to quite bad results including death, we recommend you familiarize yourself with the basic symptoms of gas poisoning in order to know when you should be alarmed.

  • tension-type headache
  • dizziness
  • feeling and being sick
  • tiredness
  • confusion
  • stomach pain
  • shortness of breath
  • difficulty breathing

If you have been exposed to low levels of carbon monoxide, the symptoms of poisoning can be the same as the symptoms of food poisoning or flu except for the high temperature.

Symptoms Of the Gas Poisoning
Credits: HappyNati, via

In case you notice any of these symptoms, go to see a doctor and call a professional to check your gas lines for any leaks.

So, now you are totally aware of how much time you need to air your house out in order to get rid of the gas smell completely. We also provided you with the information regarding what steps to take when you sense the gas odor in your home, and what you should avoid doing in this case.

With all that in mind, you will be able to protect yourself and your family members, as well as your property from any accidents connected with the gas leakage.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ What’s the price for fixing a gas leak?

If you’re a homeowner, you might pay between 150 and 700 dollars for fixing a gas line leak.

⭐ What are the symptoms of a long-term exposure to carbon monoxide?

They are difficulty thinking and concentrating, as well as frequent emotional changes, vertigo, loss of physical coordination, and loss of consciousness.

⭐ How long does it take to recover from gas poisoning?

It takes several hours to completely flush the gas from the body.

Written by
Olivia shares all she knows about the hotels, houses, and home cleaning with Beezzly readers. And she knows a lot! 15 years of work experience as a Manager in a former Four Season Service gave Olivia an exceptional base of professional knowledge and practical experience.
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
I Smell Gas In My House - What To Do If You Smell GasI Smell Gas In My House - What To Do If You Smell Gas