carbon monoxide and your furnace and water heater

Having concerns about carbon monoxide is normal. After all, we all want breathe clean air and have our homes to be safe! Fortunately, keeping CO2 risks down is relatively simple. Once you understand the potential problem spots around your home, it’s easy to take preventative measures—beyond your trusty CO2 sensor. Just follow these notes if you need a refresher on what to check.

Carbon Monoxide Risk Factors

The regular air we breathe already comes with trace amounts of carbon monoxide, or CO2. It’s not a problem at low levels. But we start to have health problems when this gas is present at higher levels. In extreme cases, CO2 can even be fatal. That’s why it’s important to have the right precautions in place.

Because CO2 is colorless and odorless, it’s basically impossible to identify it without a good sensor in place. The next step is to know how CO2 can leak into your home. All appliances that burn fuel create CO2 as a result. If these areas aren’t properly vented, the CO2 levels will start to rise. Good ventilation, on the other hand, can effectively remove the gas and keep you and your family out of harm’s way.

Often times, the two appliances that need to be monitored are your furnace and your water heater. As gas-using appliances, certain problems with these systems can put your home’s air quality at risk. Regular service checks, though, can help you avoid these issues.

Protecting Your Family and Home

For healthy indoor air, the amount of CO2 indoors should match the natural levels of CO2 outside. Of course, certain circumstances can upset this balance. Homes that have problems with carbon dioxide are often connected to their fuel-burning appliances. Again, these issues can be particularly common with furnaces and water heaters, but there are other sources as well. Both gas and wood fireplaces emit CO2 while they burn, as do running vehicles. That’s why it’s important to keep the garage door open when your car is turned on. Proper ventilation is key, yet sometimes even these practical steps aren’t enough to prevent problems.

Appliances that have certain defects can also cause CO2 gas to leak into your home. A cracked or pitted heat exchanger might actually be to blame for high levels. So how do you keep these problems from arising? It all comes down to good planning and service checks. Instead of leaving your appliances unattended for years on end, consider scheduling a checkup. Annual inspections are crucial to promote safety and clean home air quality. Yet so many homeowners overlook these steps!

Other best practices include having your gas appliances serviced before you put them to use. You want to be able to catch any hiccups before you start running your systems. Working with a professional can help give you that peace of mind.

If you have questions or concerns about your furnace, know that our team is always just a phone call away. Reviewing your current setup can help ensure that you won’t have any carbon monoxide problems with your home. While those leaks can be very concerning, they often come with a very simple fix.

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