One of the reasons why yearly furnace tune-ups are necessary is that you want to prevent the furnace from becoming a health risk in your home.
Gas burning furnaces produce carbon monoxide (CO), which is colorless, tasteless, and odorless. If your furnace is operating correctly, the gas will be vented from your home via the flue pipe. When your furnace develops a crack in its flue pipes or heat exchanger, carbon monoxide can leak into the air of your home, posing a risk to you and your family.
It will, unfortunately, be almost impossible for you to detect it, and that is why you need to keep your furnace in tip-top shape with a yearly Boise furnace tune-up.
Here are some other tips on furnace maintenance and how you can keep your family safe from potential carbon monoxide leaks.
What Are the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide is dangerous, even in small amounts, and could take only a few minutes to make you ill. You can’t see or smell it, so you could be breathing it in without knowing. You could develop chest pains, a dull headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, blurred vision, and eventually lose consciousness which can lead to death.
If you or any of your family members are experiencing these symptoms, you need to get out of the house and contact a doctor immediately. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be treated, but only if it’s discovered early enough.
How Do You Know if Your Furnace Is Leaking Carbon Monoxide?
If you have a gas furnace or other gas appliances, there is the possibility that you will have to deal with a carbon monoxide leak eventually.
- A carbon monoxide alarm can warn you of a potential leak. You should have a detector installed preferably in every bedroom, and also near your garage. Check the detector’s batteries regularly.
- Brown, black, or yellow soot-like stains around your furnace can indicate a leak.
- Investigate unusual smells, as this could indicate the cause of a gas leak.
- If the color of your furnace’s pilot light is blue instead of yellow, it might be leaking carbon monoxide.
How Can You Prevent Carbon Monoxide Leaks?
There are several ways in which you can prevent this dangerous situation from developing in your home.
- Have your furnace installed by professionals. If you do it yourself and you make mistakes, it could create an unsafe situation in your home. Your furnace can develop problems with expelling carbon monoxide if your ductwork was not designed correctly or the blower motor was installed incorrectly.
- Schedule yearly maintenance. During the tune-up, technicians clear away grime and replace broken parts. Heat exchangers can crack when the coils inside the furnace are working too hard, which could be caused by dirty air filters. The technicians are trained to look for cracked heat exchangers, and they will look for other issues that can cause carbon monoxide leaks.
- Make sure you change your furnace’s filter regularly, as carbon monoxide leaks can also be caused by a backup of airflow to the heating system.
- Install carbon monoxide monitors in different places in your house, including near the furnace, as it will be difficult for you to detect leaks without the monitors. Remember to change their batteries regularly.
You may not want to spend money on regular furnace tune-ups, but in the long term you will save money on repairs, and you may also see cost savings on your utility bills.
Yearly furnace maintenance is also essential to you and your family’s health and well-being, as a carbon monoxide leak could have serious health consequences.