Carbon Monoxide Test

How to Tell If Carbon Monoxide Is Leaking From Your Furnace

March 15, 2021

Your furnace should provide your Falling Waters, WV, home with comfort for many years. However, furnaces get damaged and may start to leak carbon monoxide into your home. Here are some ways you can tell if carbon monoxide is leaking and what you can do about it.

How Your Furnace Develops a Carbon Monoxide Leak

There are several ways your furnace can develop problems, which prevents it from venting out carbon monoxide. The most common furnace problem is a cracked heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is a metal that contracts and expands every time the furnace cools and heats up.

With time, the expansion and contraction may cause the heat exchanger walls to develop cracks. The cracks cause incomplete combustion, which then allows carbon monoxide to escape into your home.

Signs of Carbon Monoxide Leaks

There are several ways you can tell when your furnace has a carbon monoxide leak. Here are a few that pose a threat to your indoor air quality:

  • Soot: You may notice soot-like stains on your furnace. The soot stain can have a black, brown or even yellow color.
  • Smell: While carbon monoxide doesn’t emit odor, it may get accompanied by other exhaust gases that produce an odor.
  • A yellow burner flame: The pilot flame may produce an unusual yellow flame instead of the normal blue one.

What to Do to Avoid a Carbon Monoxide Leak

Exposure to carbon monoxide is dangerous and may lead to fatalities. It may also lead to health issues such as severe headaches and loss of consciousness. Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Schedule furnace maintenance: You can prevent carbon monoxide leaks by having your furnace inspected for cracks. Your furnace contractor uses specialized equipment to examine your entire system for potential leaks.
  • Ensure clean air filters: Your furnace is more likely to develop carbon monoxide leaks if there is insufficient airflow. Make sure you clean or change the air filters every month to prevent buildup.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector: Since carbon monoxide is both colorless and odorless, it can build up to dangerous levels without your knowledge. That’s why a carbon monoxide detector is crucial. It will alert you before it’s too late.

Make sure you keep everyone in your home safe by taking care of your furnace. For more information on HVAC maintenance, contact Care Services Inc.

Image provided by iStock

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