What You Should Know About A Broken Furnace And CO Poisoning

Construction & Contractors Blog

You may want to ignore that furnace repair that needs to be done, but it could be putting you and your loved ones in danger. When a furnace is not working properly, you run the risk of it emitting carbon monoxide (CO) into your house. It is a very real danger, with 200 deaths occurring each year due to CO poisoning. Here is everything you should know about this potential safety risk due to a damaged furnace.

What CO Poisoning Does

Breathing causes oxygen in your body to bind to hemoglobin, which is then transported through your body. Oxygen is then released as needed in different areas. When CO is present in the air, your body will absorb it when you breathe. Unfortunately, CO does not separate from hemoglobin, so the bond it forms is permanent. CO saturation eventually becomes too high, and forces oxygen out from your bloodstream, causing you to suffocate.

Common signs of CO poisoning include:

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Losing Consciousness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vomiting

How CO Poisoning Occurs Through Your Damaged Furnace

Every time the furnace turns on, gas will build up in it. When the furnace is damaged, gas could continue to build up, escape the furnace, and reach areas of your house. This can happen from filters that are dirty, intake valves that are clogged, and igniters that are faulty. Since many homes are airtight to reduce their energy consumption, the dangerous CO gas remains in your home.

How To Prevent CO Poisoning

There are a couple things you should do if you want to take precautions against CO poisoning. Start by installing a CO detector in your house. Much like a smoke detector, it alerts you when odorless CO gas has reached a dangerous level.

You should also be taking steps to ensure that your furnace is working properly. Consider getting an annual inspection to perform common maintenance and have parts inspected. This includes replacing the air filter, cleaning blower components, and inspecting parts like the thermocouple and igniter. You can hire an HVAC contractor in your area to take care of these things for you.

What To Do If CO Is Detected

If your CO detector goes off, exit your home immediately to get to fresh air. Contact a professional (like those at West Country Heating & AC and other locations) to come fix your damaged furnace, and do not enter the home until the problem has been fixed and you are certain the home is free of carbon monoxide.


25 March 2016

Swim into Summer

If you’re looking for a fun way to improve your home and boost your property values, you may want to consider adding a pool to your backyard this summer. You’d be surprised how big a difference this simple addition can make to your home and for your property values. A new pool is a big project however, so you’ll have to do some research before putting one in. I created this blog to help you with that research. Check out different pool construction options, as well as maintenance tips and the accessories that you have to have this summer.