You have likely heard about the risk of carbon monoxide leaks from all gas appliances, from gas furnaces to gas-powered fireplaces. But why do these appliances carry this risk? Understanding what causes carbon monoxide leaks is essential to keeping your home safe. Here’s what you need to know.
What Causes Carbon Monoxide Leaks?
Small amounts of carbon monoxide are produced by normally functioning gas appliances. It is part of the exhaust, the by-product of burning fuel and creating heat. The exhaust of the gas appliance is supposed to properly remove carbon monoxide and all other gas exhaust from your home.
There are two main causes of carbon monoxide in heat-generating appliances like furnaces. The first is an exhaust problem, like a blocked flue, a rusted flue, or another issue that directs the exhaust of the furnace back into your home. The other is the heat exchanger. If this part becomes cracked, it can leak carbon monoxide into your home too.
Armed with this knowledge, you can see that furnace maintenance is essential to catch and prevent these issues. Your HVAC technician can spot rusting and corroded parts. They can also test the quality of the exhaust to know if the unit is properly removing the exhaust from your home.
How Do Carbon Monoxide Detectors Work?
It is essential to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home if you have any gas appliances or gas HVAC units. But how do these detectors work? There are a few different varieties that work in different ways. There may be a gel material, an electrode suspended in a chemical solution or a silica chip that reacts to carbon monoxide. Each can then trigger the alarm.
It’s important that your carbon monoxide alarm always is plugged in and where your building codes dictate. This usually means near the floor and often near bedrooms, where the alarm can catch this dangerous gas. If the alarm is high or in the wrong spot, it will be much less effective or potentially even useless, as carbon monoxide is heavy and begins to gather relatively close to the ground.
Concerned about a carbon monoxide leak in your home? Contact our professionals at RB Heating today to learn how we can help!
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is dangerous because it replaces oxygen in your bloodstream, meaning that your body and brain have less and less oxygen to use as you breathe more in. If you breathe in a little for a short while, symptoms can be mild, but if you breathe it in long enough or in large amounts quickly, you can have life-threatening complications. The potential symptoms include:
- Dull headache
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
Are you concerned about getting a carbon monoxide leak in your home? Regular maintenance of your gas appliances and HVAC units is essential for safety. RB Heating ClimateCare can fulfill all your maintenance needs for your gas and other HVAC units. Reach out to us today to learn more.