No matter where you live in the country, CO, or carbon monoxide, exposure is a potential risk. It’s a tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas, and many of your appliances house this gas too. When your appliances are kept in good shape, the CO filters safely out of the home, but if maintenance is skipped or repair needs are left ignored, the CO can build up and lead to problems for your family.
This is why it’s vital for you to learn if your furnace is leaking carbon monoxide. We’ll go over some signs that might indicate you’re dealing with CO exposure, and if a dirty furnace impacts this all. Read on to learn more!
Common Signs of a Furnace Leaking Carbon Monoxide
We all know that carbon monoxide exposure is dangerous, but how do you know if this is a problem you’re actually facing? Aside from installing carbon monoxide detectors (which we not only recommend, is usually legally required in homes throughout Georgia), there are some signs you can watch out for that your furnace might be leaking carbon monoxide:
- The Pilot LIght is Frequently Going out
- You See Soot-Colored or Brown/Yellow Staining Aroud the System
- You Smell Gas (CO is odorless, as we mentioned above, however a gas leak could very well accompany a carbon monoxide leak)
- You Smell Something Burning
- You Hear a Clicking Noise as Your Furnace Cycles off, which can indicate a cracked heat exchanger–where CO is housed and can leak from.
Of course, these signs can be difficult to notice. The best way to avoid a problem with your furnace at all is to make sure you stay on top of annual professional furnace maintenance. This allows our technicians to comprehensively inspect and clean the system, lowering the risk of carbon monoxide leaks and a number of other problems.
Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
We hope that you and your family never have to face carbon monoxide poisoning. But it is extremely important that you be aware of the signs that you have been exposed to too much CO, so that you can exit your home and seek medical attention right away. Here are the signs:
- Shortness of Breath
- Pain in Your Chest
- Blurry Vision
- Dull Headache
- Passing Out
These symptoms can vary in severity based on how long you’ve been exposed and other factors such as age and other health issues.
Can a Dirty Furnace Cause Carbon Monoxide Leaks?
When a furnace is dirty, it can impact a couple of things. First off, it can restrict airflow, which can indeed cause a backup of hot air in the system, creating pressure that could lead to damaged heat exchangers, and then carbon monoxide leaks.
Dirt and grime can also exist on the heat exchangers, causing corrosion that will lead to, again, heat exchanger damage and carbon monoxide leaks.
As we alluded to above, cleaning is a part of routine professional maintenance and will help reduce your risk of having a carbon monoxide leak in your furnace.
How do You Test a Furnace for Carbon Monoxide?
If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak, the best thing you can do is stop using your furnace or any gas-powered appliances, and call for testing. Professionals will use an electronic combustion testing instrument to determine if the levels of CO in your home are unsafe.