HVAC systems installed in your home normally call for a lot of care. Several issues may become costly if you don’t properly maintain your unit. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas referred to as the “Quiet Killer” by the Centers for Disease Control. Carbon monoxide is produced by burning fossil fuels and is very lethal. A properly functioning furnace contains the carbon monoxide produced within the system’s heat exchanger. After the gas leaves the heat exchanger, it is sent through the furnace’s flue vent and later on carried out of your home safely. Regular maintenance of your furnace ensures your unit is unlikely to face leaks.
We, at 4 Points A/C & Heating, have some tips that may help you prevent carbon monoxide leaks from your unit.
Properly Install Your Furnace
How you install your furnace is a huge factor in how it performs in the future. Having a unit whose installation is questionable is taking a huge risk. When a furnace has an improperly installed blower motor or the ductwork is designed poorly, it is difficult to vent carbon monoxide produced from burning fossil fuels, leading to leaks. At 4 Points A/C & Heating, we have world-class professionals who will expertly handle the installation of your furnace, ensuring your home is set for the winter without any future risks.
2. Keep Your Home Clean and Tidy
With furnaces, keeping your home clean is a huge factor in ensuring you are not vulnerable to carbon monoxide leaks. Always confirm the area around your furnace’s vents is unobstructed at all times. You can do this by removing leaves and accumulated dirt from around the vents. These foreign objects clog up the ducts, preventing carbon monoxide’s proper release into the atmosphere. Therefore, to prevent leaks from your furnace, ensuring that your home is clean is a crucial preventive measure.
3. Change Your Furnace’s Air Filter
Filters are an essential component of your furnace. The furnace’s air filter ensures airflow in your heating system is fluid. Without regular maintenance checks on your unit, you may fail to notice your filter getting dirty or even wearing out. This will, in turn, affect air passing through the filter, allowing even carbon monoxide to pass through. Our technicians advise homeowners to ensure that their furnace’s air conditioning filters are regularly changed, thus, ensuring the air filter does not back up airflow into your heating system. As a preventive measure, regular changing of your furnace’s filters will, in turn, ensure you are set for the winter without any risks of carbon monoxide leaks.
4. Perform Regular Maintenance of Your HVAC Unit
Common problems with HVAC units arise due to a lack of maintenance. Therefore, if you want to prevent carbon monoxide leaks in your unit, have one of our experts perform a check on your unit. You can also schedule regular maintenances with us at 4 Points A/C & Heating, ensuring your unit is performing at its best. Regular maintenance ensures problems that may arise while using your unit are spotted and fixed before they become catastrophic or even too expensive when repairing your furnace. While basic cleaning and some maintenance can be performed by you, for full maintenance checks, we recommend having one of our experts conduct a thorough inspection of your unit to ensure it works efficiently.
5. Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Another preventive measure is installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home. The “Quiet Killer” is a colorless and odorless gas that is very toxic. The gas can build up in your home undetected and can even lead to death. A carbon monoxide detector checks the levels of carbon monoxide in your home. This will help you identify if your furnace is leaking carbon monoxide to your home. The carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in strategic places in your home and tested to ensure they are correctly working. This will ensure you are ready for the winter period.
What Causes Your Furnace to Leak Carbon Monoxide in Your Home?
Several things can lead to your furnace leaking carbon monoxide in your home.
1. Inadequate Combustion
Carbon monoxide forms when fossil fuels incompletely burn as furnaces require an adequate supply of air for them to burn while generating heat. The gas to air ratio should be exact to ensure the complete combustion of fossil fuel. An incorrect ratio will impact the furnace’s efficiency as you’ll burn excessive amounts of gas and even raise carbon monoxide levels.
2. Flue Integrity
Furnaces will always produce small amounts of carbon monoxide and other harmful substances. A furnace has a flue and chimney designed to release these toxic gases into the outside atmosphere. With a structurally unsound flue, these gases can escape into your home.
3. Heat Exchanger Cracks
The heat exchanger is a crucial component of your furnace. Cracks and other faults in the heat exchanger can lead to carbon monoxide leaks into your home. The older your furnace gets, the more prone it is to cracks. Having a professional check your furnace from time to time will help you ensure the integrity of the heat exchanger is not compromised.
How to Identify if Your Furnace Is Leaking Carbon Monoxide
Because carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, detecting leaks is very hard. A carbon monoxide detector is the best and safest way to tell if there is a leak. Detectors, however, do not give you notice before damages are done. Looking for signs of carbon monoxide leaks can help. Some of these signs are:
- Heavy condensation appearing on windows where furnace is installed
- Sooty stains appearing around the furnace
- Physical appearance of soot, fumes, or smoke in the house
- A burning or an overheating smell
How to Fix a Carbon Monoxide Leak
The first and best way to deal with carbon monoxide leaks in your home is to prevent those leaks. However, you can fix a leak using the following step-by-step process:
- Install a carbon monoxide detector.
- Turn off the furnace.
- Carefully inspect all of the systems concerned with the furnace.
- Use a simple test kit to detect these leaks. The most preferred is a simple dye test.
- Replace faulty parts with a new ones.
- Ensure installed vents are clean and filters are dried.
- Start your furnace again, and observe if there are any more carbon monoxide leaks.
Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas. Accumulation of the gas in your home may be fatal and lead to death. Proper and regular maintenance of your HVAC unit ensures you are not prone to carbon monoxide leaks.
Are you in the San Bernardino area and looking for professionals to fix potential carbon monoxide leaks in your HVAC unit? We at 4 Points A/C & Heating offer various services, including heating and cooling repair and installation as well as maintenance agreements. We have certified technicians who can cater to your home needs as they strive to ensure the problem with your furnace is solved. For more information about 4 Points A/C & Heating, contact us.