Why Does My Oven Smell Like Gas? Causes and What to Do

Fleet Appliance
March 6, 2024
Oven Repair

Sometimes, the smell of gas coming from your oven can be normal and safe, but there are also scenarios where it could indicate something serious and dangerous, such as a gas leak.

When it comes to the smell of gas, it’s certainly not something you want to take a chance on, so it’s worth investigating further to be sure. This article will help you determine whether the smell is something you need to be very concerned about, or whether it is something more ordinary.

Is it normal for my oven to smell of gas?

The answer is it depends. There certainly shouldn’t be a constant, strong sulfur-like smell coming from your oven—this isn’t normal, but if it does happen you switch off the power and gas to your oven immediately, evacuate the area, and seek professional help.

However, a slight smell of gas when you first turn on your gas oven or stove can be normal. This is because there may be some residual gas that was first sent through the burners that didn’t immediately ignite. But it’s important to note that this smell should dissipate quickly once they are running, and should only occur when you turn on the oven or stove.

So to be clear, if you notice a subtle smell of gas when you first turn on the oven or stove that lasts only for a few seconds to a minute, this is normal and safe. However, anything other than this could be a bigger problem.

How can I tell if I have a gas leak?

If you notice a strong gas-like smell that resembles sulfur or rotten eggs and doesn’t dissipate quickly, you may have a gas leak. Another telltale sign of a gas leak is a hissing sound that accompanies the smell. This is the sound of the gas leaking. You may also experience physical symptoms, such as a headache, dizziness, or eye and throat irritation.

What to do if you suspect a gas leak

If all the signs point to a gas leak, here’s what you should do:

  • Cut off the power and gas supply to the oven if it’s safe to do so.
  • Open nearby windows and doors for ventilation.
  • Evacuate the area, taking pets and children with you.
  • Don’t use the oven again until the issue is fixed by a professional.
  • Do not smoke or ignite a flame.
  • Don’t use any electrical devices, including your phone, near the suspected leak, as they can create a spark.
  • Call the emergency services or your gas provider’s emergency line from a safe distance.
  • If you feel unwell, seek medical attention.

What else can cause my oven to smell like gas?

There are a few other scenarios that may cause your oven to smell like gas or emit an odor that can easily be mistaken for gas. They include:

A failing gas igniter

If the gas igniter on your oven or stove is failing, the flame will not light as quickly as it should. This delay in ignition allows more gas to build up when you turn on the oven or stove, leading to a more pronounced smell of gas.

However, this smell should dissipate quickly once the oven or stove finally does ignite. If the oven or stove is taking too long to ignite, you should avoid using it until the issue is fixed.

Your oven’s gas igniter may be more prone to failing as it ages or if it becomes dirty. Once it begins to fail, it’s best to call in a professional to replace it, as they cannot usually be easily repaired. 

The oven is dirty

Sometimes, if an oven is dirty—for instance, covered in caked-on food and grease—it can emit odors that may resemble gas. So, if you haven’t cleaned your oven in a while, and don’t clean it regularly, this may be the case. Giving the oven a thorough clean should remove the smell.

The oven is new

If your oven is brand new it may have a smell that could be mistaken for gas. However, this smell should fade away after you use it a few times. That’s because new ovens may still have residues such as oils and protective coatings that were used during manufacturing, which will burn off and emit an odor.

If your oven was recently installed, sometimes packaging materials are accidentally left inside which can melt or burn when the oven is turned on. This might create an odor that may seem like gas. After your oven is installed, make sure to check inside and remove any packaging materials or stickers before using it for the first time.


To summarize, if your oven has a constant or strong rotten egg or sulfur-like smell, you should stop using the appliance immediately, turn off the power and gas safely, ventilate the area, evacuate the area, and seek help from emergency services or your local gas company.

However, if you just catch a subtle smell of gas that lasts only a few seconds when you turn on the oven or stove, this is most likely normal and safe. If you’re unsure, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so don’t hesitate to call in a licensed gas technician to inspect and service your appliance.


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