Carbon monoxide is the silent, odorless, colorless gas that can be deadly. Every year, over 20,000 people visit the ER due to carbon monoxide poisoning. You may have a fireplace, water heater or generator in your home that could pose a danger. Another common culprit is your furnace. Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning is here to talk about carbon monoxide in hopes to help you avoid a problem in your own home.
Your Heat Exchanger & Carbon Monoxide
The heat exchanger in your furnace plays a key role in keeping carbon monoxide out of the air you breathe. The heat exchanger is responsible for transferring heat from fuel being burned all while keeping the air in your home from mixing with the furnace exhaust. Sometimes a heat exchanger can fail due to rust and the contraction of heating and cooling metal. When you have a furnace that is running the way it should, it shouldn’t create a large amount of carbon monoxide, but when your heat exchanger fails, there is a greater risk of carbon monoxide and other gases mixing with the air you breathe.
What are the Symptoms of a Damaged Heat Exchanger?
Sometimes when a heat exchanger fails, you can visually notice the crack, but other times, you have to rely on other signs that indicate a failed heat exchanger. If you turn your heat on and see a flicker of combustion flames, this could be indicative of a crack in the heat exchanger that is allowing circulated air from the furnace getting into the combustion area. Another sign of a heat exchanger problem has to do with your carbon monoxide detectors. If they are alarming, it is important to remove yourself from your home and call on the help of a professional right away to assess the reason for high levels of carbon monoxide in your home.
How to Protect Your Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Following are some tips to keep your home safe from carbon monoxide.
– Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed throughout your home. These detectors should be at least 15 feet away from heating or cooking appliances and outside all sleeping areas.
– Batteries should be tested every month and the entire detector should be replaced every 7 years.
– Schedule annual furnace maintenance to ensure your furnace is running properly and no problems are detected with your heat exchanger.
– Never leave a car running in the garage without the garage door wide open.
– Ensure fireplace flues are open and the chimneys are clear.
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The problems that carbon monoxide can cause can be deadly. It is important that you have your furnace checked on an annual basis by the heating professionals at Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning to keep your home safe from this dangerous gas. Because it is colorless and odorless, it can hard to detect on your own without the help of detectors. Call us today for all your furnace needs!