Dangers of Winter Carbon Monoxide

 

 

Winter is the season when families close the windows to shut out the cold drafts and stay inside to take advantage of the warmth coming from the furnace. There is no problem for this in ordinary circumstances but a defective furnace is a source of very serious health hazards. The worst is carbon monoxide. This is a gas that has no odor but it is poisonous. The possibility of carbon monoxide leaking from the furnace is a reason why a homeowner should take precautions during the winter.

Furnace service can be as simple as having a common monoxide alarm installed. It must be remembered these are not smoke detectors, and will only activate when carbon monoxide is noticed. If there is evidence of carbon monoxide the heat exchanger in the furnace needs to be replaced. Heat exchangers over period of time can develop cracks and that allows the gas to escape. Replacing the heat exchanger, by the way, is the kind of repair work that an HVAC professional ought to be doing. This is not a do-it-yourself project at all because of the danger of the gas that’s involved. It is also possible that the heating system of the house is not venting the flue gases out of the home properly. Again, an HVAC professional needs to inspect to see where any gas leakage is happening.

If a carbon monoxide alarm has not been installed, evidence of carbon monoxide can be symptoms of ill health the residents of the house may have. This can include nausea and drowsiness for which there is no explanation. If these symptoms become apparent it is time to the contact an HVAC technician to inspect the furnace. Winter is a time when people are indoors and the furnace is working at maximum capacity. Some safety precautions to guard against carbon monoxide gas can prevent serious and tragedy from happening during what should be a holiday season.

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