As this year’s heating season is already here, we at Nor-Can Heating & Air want to ensure that you and your family are safe from the many hazards of operating furnace and heating appliances in your home.
Since most homeowners here in Canada utilize gas-burning furnaces, carbon monoxide leakage is plausible. If it goes unchecked, it can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning that ultimately causes severe tissue damage and sometimes death.
This is why it is essential to know how you can avoid potential safety hazards and risks that a gas-burning furnace may cause while making your home warm and comfortable.
Where Does The Carbon Monoxide Come From?
Carbon monoxide is produced by devices that burn fuel. In most furnaces, heat is produced by burning gas, and carbon monoxide is the byproduct of this combustion process. However, this is mostly contained within the wall of the furnace’s heat exchanger, and from there, safely vents out of the home through flue pipes.
What Causes Carbon Monoxide Leaks?
The carbon monoxide gas only leaks out into your home’s air when there is a crack or rupture in the heat exchanger or flue pipe. High levels of CO in the air can cause severe health problems, sometimes leading to death.
Other certain conditions that can cause CO to leak from your furnace are;
- There is a lack of sufficient combustion air
- Negative air pressure is built up in the room that draws CO out of the furnace
- Furnace’s exhaust system is set up wrong, and CO has to vent out through an old chimney
- Your HVAC system is poorly-installed
How To Avoid The Dangers Of CO Leaks From Your Furnace
Below are some of the steps you can take to limit or avoid carbon monoxide leaks from your furnace:
Schedule An Annual Inspection Of Your Furnace
The most crucial step to avoid CO leaks from your furnace is to get your furnace inspected before the beginning of the winter season every year.
During the annual inspection, your HVAC expert will perform several tests to check your system’s condition. He will also perform preventative measures, including a full-system cleaning and inspection. This will help him identify and fix any problems with your furnace.
Regularly Change Your Furnace’s Air Filters
Carbon monoxide leaks are also possible if your furnace has clogged or dirty air filters. A clogged filter reduces the airflow from your heating system, causing the heat exchanger to overheat and crack. To prevent this, make sure you’re keeping up with your furnace’s air filters. They must be replaced regularly so your furnace can efficiently deal with proper airflow.
Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. It is often called a “silent killer” since one can’t feel its buildup in the air. For this reason, you must install CO detectors in your homes, especially if you have appliances like gas-burning furnaces, water heaters, gas stoves, wood stoves, and more.
The CO detectors will help you figure out if the CO levels inside your home are optimal or not.
Know The Signs Of CO Poisoning
Most people fail to identify early signs of CO poisoning and eventually lose consciousness. Some of the symptoms of CO poisoning are; Headache, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.
Ensure Your Furnace Is Installed Correctly
Even a single mistake in your furnace installation process can lead to fatal consequences. For example, if you got your blower motor installed incorrectly or had your ductwork designed poorly, your furnace can develop problems with its venting systems and leak CO into the air.
Therefore, to avoid improper installation, always hire qualified and professional HVAC contractors like Nor-Can Heating & Air to install or service your heating units. For more information on furnace installation, repair, and maintenance, visit our website or contact us for a free quote.