Carbon monoxide (CO) is a potentially deadly gas when not completely processed. There are many appliances throughout your home that let off the gas. It usually filters safely out of your home, but it can buildup and linger in rare cases and lead to serious health risks. It cannot be seen or smelled, which is what makes it so dangerous.
This is why it is so important to be able to tell if your furnace is leaking carbon monoxide. We’ll walk you through signs that could indicate you’re dealing with carbon monoxide issues. In addition, we’ll take a closer look at tankless water heaters and how to install them safely. You’ll learn how they work, how they’re installed, and how to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Signs of a Furnace Carbon Monoxide Leak
Is your furnace leaking carbon monoxide? There are a few telltale signs. Though you won’t ever be able to smell or see the actual gas, these events could indicate you’ve got a buildup occurring and need to deal with it right away:
- Pilot Light Frequently Blowing Out
- Fallen Soot in Fireplaces
- Soot-Colored or Brown/Yellow-Colored Stains Around the Leaking Appliance
- Solid Fuel Fires Burn Lower Than Normal
- Smell of Gas (carbon monoxide is odorless, but a leakage may be accompanied by exhaust gases you can smell)
- Stuffy or Stale Air
- Smell of Something Burning
- Lot of Condensation on the Windows in the room where the Leaking Appliance is
- Yellow-Colored Burner Flame Rather Than Blue Flame (except in the instance of intentionally yellow-colored natural gas fireplaces)
- No Upward Draft in Chimney
- Fumes, Soot, or Smoke in the House Coming From the Chimney or Fireplace
These signs can be difficult to notice, so the gas might have been present for a while, even if you notice one. You should also be on the lookout for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning even if you haven’t seen an indication your furnace is leaking.
Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
You might be dealing with some sort of carbon monoxide leak in your home if you’re dealing with any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of Breath
- Pain in Chest
- Blurry Vision
- Dull Headache
- Blacking Out
These symptoms will vary in severity based on how long you’ve been exposed to the leaking CO. Some more serious poisonings can result in death or brain damage.
Can a Dirty Furnace Filter Cause Carbon Monoxide Leaks?
A dirty furnace filter can restrict airflow. This can cause a backup of airflow in the heating system of your home. When this happens, and little to no air passes through your furnace, the heat exchanger can overheat and crack, causing carbon monoxide to leak into your home. A furnace carbon monoxide leak is dangerous. Be sure to check and replace your furnace filter every 1-3 months.
How Do You Tell If Your Furnace is Venting Properly?
Moisture on your windows is a fairly certain sign that your furnace isn’t venting the way it should. You might also notice rusting of the grillwork on the front of your furnace. This also indicates your furnace isn’t venting properly. Both of these signs show that moisture is gathering inside and around your furnace when it shouldn’t be.
How Do You Test a Furnace for Carbon Monoxide?
How can you tell if there is a carbon monoxide leak? You can test your furnace for carbon monoxide leaking by watching for the signs mentioned above, including the smell of something burning, condensation on the windows in the room where the furnace is located, etc.
Another highly effective way to know you’ve got a problem with carbon monoxide leaking is by using an electronic combustion testing instrument. Technicians can use this tool to detect signs of carbon monoxide leaking from various appliances, including your furnace.
Should the Vent on the Furnace be Open or Closed?
You should keep the vents on your furnace open. Closing them or closing off any other vents in your home actually can cost you more money in the long run. It’s also not healthy for the heating system and can cause backing up in the system, resulting in potential carbon monoxide issues.
Tune Up Your Furnace with Absolute Air
Installing a CO detector and trusting a licensed professional to come in to tune up your furnace every few months are great steps you can take to help prevent CO leaks. Contact us at Absolute Air to learn more about how we can help you protect your home from the dangers of CO poisoning.