Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of burning oil and gas, which is what most Minneapolis furnaces do to heat up your home. While keeping warm in the winter is important, staying safe is also important. At Twin City Heating and Air, we want to make sure that you stay safe this winter by knowing how to check your furnace for leaks and the dangers of carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas produced from burning materials such as wood, liquid gas, and oil. These materials are all burned in different types of furnaces, which is why it is important to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. OSHA warns of the dangers of carbon monoxide because it displaces oxygen in your body to form other atoms. Enough carbon monoxide will take away oxygen to your vital organs, including your heart, that you need to live. If carbon monoxide takes away the oxygen in your body, it will lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
As previously stated, carbon monoxide poisoning happens when there is a lack of oxygen in your body because of a buildup of carbon monoxide. Because carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless, it is hard to tell if you are breathing it in. It is important to look for symptoms such as persistent headaches, weakness, dizziness, and nausea. If these symptoms start to happen in your home, go outside to see if the symptoms persist. It is often mistaken for the flu, but as your body gets more oxygen, the symptoms should fade. Always call emergency services if you suspect a carbon monoxide leak in your home.
Where Carbon Monoxide is in your Furnace
Carbon monoxide leaks are not uncommon in furnaces, which is why most furnaces add a smell to the carbon monoxide, like rotten eggs, just in case. Because carbon monoxide is produced during the combustion process, it comes from the heat exchanger in your furnace. The seals and tank should be checked annually to make sure your furnace will run smoothly and keep your family safe.
How to Prevent Leaks
The main way to prevent leaks is to get your furnace checked every year before you start using it in the winter. It is also a good idea to check your air filter regularly after turning on your furnace. If your air filter gets clogged, the warm air can get trapped in the heat exchanger and could cause pressure inside, wearing down the seals. Always make sure that your home as a working carbon monoxide detector just in case.
If you need a furnace inspection, our experts are ready to help. Our HVAC professionals will check every part with a 21-point inspection to get you ready for a safe and warm winter. Call us to schedule an appointment, or check out more of our services on our website.