According to the CDC, around four hundred people in the US die due to carbon monoxide or CO exposure each year. And Carbon Monoxide is more common around you than you might think. You can be exposed to CO while using your furnace, fireplace, and gas stove. When you’re exposed to CO for a long time, it can damage your nervous system and other organs. Here’s what you need to know about CO and how to prevent Carbon Monoxide leaks.
Signs of CO Leaks from the Furnace
Carbon monoxide or CO is odorless. So, if there is CO leakage from your furnace, usually, you won’t notice any unusual smell in your house. However, due to CO leakage from your furnace, you’ll notice yellow or brown strains near your heating unit. Besides, you’ll start noticing condensation on your windows or mirrors. Moreover, you’ll feel that the indoor air is stuffy or lacks freshness.
If you’re noticing these signs in your house, you should turn off your heating unit and call an HVAC expert ASAP. Because when you’re exposed to CO for a long time, it can make you sick.
How to Know If You’re Exposed to Carbon Monoxide
When you inhale CO, it starts replacing O2 in your body. As a result, the level of oxygen in your body starts decreasing, and due to lack of oxygen, the brain, muscles, and organs in your body start getting damaged.
If you’re having dizziness, vomiting, nausea, chest pain, unconsciousness, and other flu-like symptoms, there is a possibility that there is a carbon monoxide leak in your house. In this situation, you should call 911 ASAP and handle the situation professionally.
Install Carbon Monoxide or CO Detector
The best and most effective way to detect CO in your house is by installing a CO detector in your home. As soon as the CO level goes beyond a certain level, this CO detector will trigger the alarm and notify you. The alarm will continue making a sound until the CO has dissipated.
If you’re using a gas stove or furnace in your house, you must get a carbon monoxide detector in your home. Usually, most CO detector comes with a fire alarm, which eliminates the need of installing two detectors separately. Again, if you use a wood fireplace, you must install a CO detector in your house.
3 Effective Methods to Prevent CO Leak from the Furnace
1. Do Regular Furnace Inspection
When you skip furnace maintenance for years, you increase the probability of CO leakage from your furnace. For example, when the furnace filter is dirty, it blocks the furnace vents. As a result, CO gets trapped inside the furnace and eventually starts leaking into your house.
The furnace heat exchanger exchanges heat from indoor to outdoor. When the furnace is well maintained and in good condition, CO stays inside the heat exchanger until the CO is released outside. But when this heat exchanger gets damaged, instead of going outdoor, the CO will leak in your house. As a result, within a short time, your house will get filled with carbon monoxide and make everyone sick.
If you don’t want this to happen in your home, you should never neglect furnace maintenance. It’s advised to do a furnace maintenance checkup before the start of the winter.
2. Don’t Vent CO into the Chimney
Many homeowners connect their furnace exhaust line with the chimney and think the CO will vent through it. But the problem with this method is that the chimney liner will crack if you continue using this method for a long time. And when it does, CO will come back to your house and increase the CO level.
3. Install the Furnace in a Mechanical Room
Sometimes, even after doing regular furnace checkups and keeping the furnace clean, you can have CO issues in your house. Often, it’s because of the negative pressure near the furnace. To solve this issue, you’ll have to create a mechanical room, where there will be low ventilation, and you’ll have to seal the room entirely. Or, you’ll have to purchase a furnace that comes with a sealed combustion feature.
If you’re searching for an HVAC maintenance and service company in Dallas, contact Green Leaf Air. We provide 24/7 emergency HVAC services to our clients. Also, we provide different types of HVAC units. Call 972-992-5006 to contact our HVAC technicians.
See the summary of this article here in this infographic – 3 Effective Ways to Prevent CO Leak from the Furnace [Infographic]