Your furnace provides you and your family with essential heat for comfort during the colder months. Your furnace burns fossil fuel (natural gas or propane) to produce the necessary heat, that combustion process produces carbon monoxide gas. In a properly working and vented furnace, this is not a concern. Your system is designed to contain and expel this harmful gas to protect your family while keeping you comfortable.
Unfortunately, there are instances when the carbon monoxide leaks into your home. This is a dangerous situation that you need to avoid. Knowing what to look for and having regular inspections of your furnace can help prevent leaks and protect your family. In the event of a carbon monoxide leak, American Air Conditioning & Heating provides a fast, reliable furnace repair service to restore your system to safe operation.
Carbon Monoxide Leaks – How they Occur
Every furnace burning propane or natural gas produces carbon monoxide, which is expelled out of the home safely. Basically, the system’s heat exchanger accumulates carbon monoxide as it is produced, and it is passed out of the house through the vent of the furnace.
However, there might be some problems in the furnace that can result in harmful carbon monoxide leaks. The two most common malfunctions that put your family at risk are:
- Cracked Heat Exchanger –A crack in the heat exchanger might lead to the spread of carbon monoxide in the home. The heat exchanger is basically a metal plate that separates the heated air that enters your home and the dangerous gas that needs to be removed. When working properly, the heat exchanger contains the gas and expels it safely through the exhaust vent. With the passage of time, however, the heat exchanger expands and contracts, sometimes developing cracks. Through these cracks the harmful gas leaks into the home, putting you and your family at a significant safety risk.
- Problem in the Venting System of the Furnace – Carbon monoxide leaks are quite common when there are issues with the furnace venting system. These can result from improperly installed vents or damage to the vents from careless activity around the furnace. A blocked exhaust vent can also prevent safe expulsion of carbon monoxide gas.
Signs That Your Furnace is Leaking Carbon Monoxide
A dangerous characteristic of carbon monoxide is that it cannot be seen or smelled. Therefore, detecting a leak directly is virtually impossible. However, there are some signs that indicate a possible carbon monoxide leak. If you see any of these symptoms, take precautions and seek professional assistance immediately.
- A normal burner flame is blue. If you see a yellow flame, this is a clear indication that toxic carbon monoxide is being leaked from the furnace. In many cases, the flame is seen to be flickering as well.
- Watch for a streaky accumulation of soot around the base of the furnace.
- Excessive moisture deposits on walls, windows, and other cold surfaces.
- Small volume of water leaking from the flue pipe or vent.
- Rust on vent or flue pipes.
- Members of the family might start having flu-like symptoms, have a burning sensation in the eyes and nose, feel nauseated and disoriented, and have frequent headaches.
Protect Your Family
If you have a gas burning furnace, we recommend installing a carbon monoxide detector. This small device is inexpensive and will sound an alarm if an unhealthy level of carbon monoxide develops in your home. It could save your life.
Additionally, if you notice any of these signs in and around your furnace, call American Air Conditioning & Heating & Heating at 1-800-321-9494; and we will come for immediate assistance. We will inspect your system and provide the best gas furnace repair in Los Angeles.