Carbon Monoxide and Your Furnace

Staying warm is especially important during this cold winter weather, but there’s a chance your furnace could make you sick.

Homeowners need to be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter when furnaces are working overtime and cars are warming up in the garage.  CO (carbon monoxide) is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly less dense than air.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 170 people die every year from carbon monoxide that comes from household appliances. A poorly running furnace can not only fail but it can quickly fill a home with carbon monoxide.  Gas pressure can end up being too high which means its burning hot and whenever you burn hot in an appliance, there is a possibility the heat exchange could crack, which would produce carbon monoxide.

Fire officials also echo heating experts and say the best way to prevent carbon monoxide from seeping into your home is to have your furnace checked every year; to make sure it’s not emitting carbon monoxide into your home. A yearly examination usually costs less than $100.

Anything that’s a combustible material, that can burn, has the potential to put out carbon monoxide.

Homeowners should also regularly replace the air filter and make sure snow and ice aren’t building up on the vents outside, because if you don’t pay attention to the largest appliance in your home, it could create a dangerous and even deadly situation.

Another main source of carbon monoxide in your home is your car, and with this winter’s cold weather, you likely warm it up almost daily. If you are going to warm up your car before leaving, DO NOT leave it in the garage, especially without the outside door open. A garage fills up quickly with carbon monoxide which can lead to fatality.

Be on the SAFE side and Check with your furnace company to see the last time you had maintenance, and get that scheduled; winter is still sticking around for awhile!