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How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Leaks in Your Furnace

As the heating season is in full swing, it's essential that you are aware of and avoid any possible hazards that may come from the furnace. Many furnaces are a gas-burning appliance, which means they produce carbon monoxide. A carbon monoxide leak can be extremely dangerous and possibly life threatening. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent a carbon monoxide leak from happening.

Where Does Carbon Monoxide Come From?

In order to understand how to prevent carbon monoxide leaks in your furnace, it is necessary to understand where carbon monoxide comes from within your furnace. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of the combustion process that occurs in a gas-powered furnace; it is mostly contained within the walls of the heat exchanger. When your furnace is operating correctly, the gas flows through the flue pipe and is safely vented out of your home. One of the main reasons for carbon monoxide leaks is when the furnace develops a crack in the heat exchanger or the flue pipes, which causes the carbon monoxide to be released into your home, instead of being carried outside.

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Leaks

One of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent carbon monoxide leaks to have regular maintenance and inspections of the furnace. It is highly recommended that you have the furnace professionally inspected and routine maintenance is done in the fall before you turn the furnace on for the first time. During a maintenance inspection, the technician will perform a number of tests to ensure there aren’t any potential problems with the furnace, including using specialized equipment to examine the heat exchanger for signs of cracks or damage. Other things you can do to prevent carbon monoxide leaks include:

  • Change the air filter regularly. One cause of carbon monoxide leaks is the backup of airflow into the heating system. Clean filters will help to prevent the risk of backup.
  • Make sure the furnace was properly installed. If you are unsure about the age of your furnace or you have recently had a new furnace installed, it is important to make sure it was installed correctly. For example, if the blower or duct work has been installed incorrectly, it may develop issues with venting the carbon monoxide. Always make sure that any extensive work done on the furnace was done by a professional.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors. A carbon monoxide detector may not directly help prevent carbon monoxide from escaping from the furnace, but it will alert you of high levels of carbon monoxide before it is too late.

 If you suspect a leak in your furnace, contact the experts at AJR Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration right away for all your furnace repair needs. 

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