We had a very subtle scare yesterday.
We live in a large studio apartment that only has one gas heater. Since it has started getting cold, we have often left it on during the time that we're home - sometimes letting it run on a lower setting during the night.
Brandon has noticed (and been frustrated by) the very heavy gas smell that it puts off, as well as the humidity it produces. But, we just put that down for the cost that it required for our home to be warm.
However, yesterday morning I was trying to light the heater and the lighter I bough in the last month or so wouldn't produce a flame. Frustrated, I added "Lighter" to the grocery list. After going to the grocery store I came home and lit the heater. No problem.
At some point in the afternoon/early evening, the heater turned off. It sometimes does that, so I didn't think anything of it. However, when I went to light it, the new lighter that I'd just purchased would not light. I was SO frustrated. Somehow I got it lit.
When Brandon got home a little while later, he remarked on the annoying smell of the heater. I said I'd light a candle to try and help diffuse the smell and I tried to use the new lighter again and it would NOT light. Brandon came over and tried to help with me with the new lighter, grabbing his little lighter on the way over. He tried to use his lighter to see if he could light the longer lighter. And even his little lighter wasn't working very well. He finally got the little lighter lit (alliteration, anyone?), and then lit the candle. But after watching it for a minute, it went out.
At this point I was done. I'd made dinner just before Brandon got home and I was starting to get hangry (both from a lack of food and the whole lighter situation). So I sat down and started eating.
In the meantime, Brandon took the lighters and went over to the window, opened the window, and tried to light it again. He said it was a black and white difference. In the house, the lighter wouldn't work. By the window, a huge flame.
Essentially, there wasn't enough oxygen for any of the lighters to light easily, and not enough to keep a candle going. In other words - kind of scary!
We stepped out after dinner and bought another space heater. No more leaving the gas heater on for very long (since cracking a window defeats the purpose of turning it on in the first place.
I'm so thankful we figured this out. So thankful we didn't die in our sleep from a lack of oxygen. So...if you're having trouble lighting a flame in your house, consider checking on the air quality.