Preventing Carbon Monoxide Leaks in Furnaces
Known as the silent killer, carbon monoxide gas is deadly because it is so hard to detect. Leaks often occur inside of homes, which makes them even more dangerous. While the consequences of a carbon monoxide leak are potentially deadly, there are things you can do to reduce the risk. Read on to learn more about carbon monoxide leaks, signs of poisoning, and furnace safety.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: What Is It?
Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a poisonous yet tasteless and odorless gas. It’s a by-product of the combustion process, such as that occurring in a furnace. When a person breathes in too much gas, it displaces the oxygen in their blood, leading to poisoning and cell death. Because the process happens so gradually, and because the gas is nearly impossible to detect, victims often inhale a significant amount of it before any effects are noticed.
How Do Carbon Monoxide Leaks Happen Inside the Home?
There are a few ways CO can accumulate inside a home, but a malfunctioning heating system is one of the most common causes. A furnace that’s been installed improperly, is damaged, or is suffering from restricted airflow may create a lethal carbon monoxide leak.
The Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
While we hope it never happens, it’s best to know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning just in case. Being able to recognize the early signs and effects of CO poisoning may save your life or that of someone you love. The effects may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
If you or a family member are experiencing several of these symptoms, get fresh air and seek medical attention right away.
How to Tell If There’s Carbon Monoxide in the Home
Additionally, some may notice signs of a gas leak around the home. Look closely at the countertops and windows. If there’s condensation on such surfaces, a carbon monoxide leak may be to blame.
Regular Inspections Decrease the Risk of Carbon Monoxide Leaks
Scheduling yearly maintenance with a local HVAC company is the safest and best way to prevent harmful carbon monoxide leaks. During these service visits, a technician will perform a detailed inspection to determine whether the unit has been installed properly, is free of cracks, and is working properly. Furthermore, our technicians will identify existing issues and notify you of problems that may emerge. If you’re looking for a reliable heating company in the Meridian area, call us today.
Frequent Filter Changes Are Essential
Along with regularly scheduled maintenance, Meridian homeowners should also change their furnace filters often. Carbon monoxide leaks are more likely to occur when these filters are dirty. A contaminated filter will inhibit airflow and cause it to back up in the system. When there’s no air passing through the furnace, the heat exchanger may crack due to overheating, leaking the dangerous gas into the home. Be sure to change the furnace filter regularly to reduce the risk of damage and prevent gas leaks.
Ensure Proper Installation of New Systems
Even if the home’s furnace does not have a leak, it may still distribute CO throughout the ventilation system if the ductwork or blower motor wasn’t installed correctly. Be sure to do some research and contact a trusted HVAC company before getting any heating work done. If the provider you’re considering has no customer reviews, available contact information, or professional certifications, they’re not the best option. Count on us for fast, friendly, and knowledgeable service.
Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors Regularly—It Saves Lives
One of the easiest and least expensive ways to protect your family and home from the devastating effects of a CO leak is to install carbon monoxide detectors. These appliances can detect fumes in the air and use an alarm to notify you that the gas is present.
While carbon monoxide detectors serve an important purpose, many homeowners take them for granted. Because they’re battery-operated, they require frequent checks and occasional battery replacement. If your home’s carbon monoxide detectors have low batteries, they’ll make a beeping sound as a warning. It’s wise to have spare batteries on hand, just in case.
Keep Your Family and Home Safe
As mentioned, the simplest way to protect your family and home from the effects of carbon monoxide is to have your heating system maintained every year. If you’re looking for a heating company to service your Meridian furnace, contact A-1 Heating Air Conditioning & Electric today to learn how we can help. We can provide installation, maintenance, and repair of furnaces, heat pumps, and cooling systems. We also provide electrical services, duct cleaning, zoning, and commercial installations.