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How to Identify a Carbon Monoxide Leak Coming from Your Furnace

January 14, 2021

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, and the presence of it in your home immediately creates a dangerous situation. Known as a silent killer, carbon monoxide displaces the oxygen in your blood, blocking oxygen from getting to where it’s needed most. Here are five ways of identifying a carbon monoxide leak coming from your furnace.

1. The Detector Goes Off

Most city codes require carbon monoxide detectors in a home these days. Often, these alarms can detect carbon monoxide long before the health risks of this gas can cause any serious damage. Because of this, it’s recommended to have at least one carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home.

2. Backdrafting

Normally, smoke or fumes from your furnace goes out of your home through ducts or vents. If your furnace doesn’t have proper ventilation, it allows the smoke or fumes to fill your home. Proper HVAC maintenance reduces the chances of backdrafting.

3. Condensation

Another sign of carbon monoxide is condensation on your walls or windows after your furnace kicks on. The condensation may be anywhere in your home, but the majority of it will be near the furnace itself.

4. Health Issues

While known as a silent killer that impacts indoor air quality, there are warning signs of carbon monoxide exposure that disappear once you leave your home. These symptoms include:

  • Disorientation
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Chest pains
  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy

Other symptoms of a gas leak include headache, dizziness, breathing problems and dying houseplants. If you experience any of these symptoms, open up the windows to air out your house. If your symptoms diminish once you do so, turn off your furnace and call a technician.

5. Unusual Gas Smell

Carbon monoxide itself has no identifiable odor, but some other exhaust gases may impact your home’s air quality at the same time. A gas leak is just as dangerous as carbon monoxide exposure, but there are signs to look for as well. If you smell rotten eggs, then you may have a gas leak.

Regular maintenance brings you peace of mind and keeps your heating system at peak efficiency so you can enjoy greater indoor air quality and energy-efficiency. Contact Legacy Heating & Air Conditioning today to make regular HVAC maintenance a part of your HVAC care routine.

Image provided by iStock

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