A furnace is a central heating system that provides warmth to many homes in West Michigan and the surrounding areas. It consists of a gas or an oil boiler for hot water and domestic use. When furnaces are not properly maintained, they can leak carbon monoxide into the air, which can be deadly if it builds up in a confined space such as a room with a closed door. The following are five simple ways you can prevent this from happening.
Installation of Carbon Monoxide Detectors
A carbon monoxide detector is an electronic device that detects the presence of carbon monoxide in the air. They come in a range of prices, and there are many different models to choose from. It is a good idea to install detectors on every floor of your home, especially near bedrooms.
If you have a gas furnace, installing a carbon monoxide detector near the system itself is also a good idea. Some detectors come with an audible alarm that will sound when carbon monoxide levels reach a dangerous level. Others have a digital readout that will show the level of carbon monoxide in the air. Carbon monoxide detectors should be tested regularly to ensure they are working properly.
In addition to installing a carbon monoxide detector, it is also important to check them regularly. The batteries should be replaced every year, and the detectors should be tested monthly by pushing the test button. If you live in an area where high levels of carbon monoxide are possible (highly industrialized areas), then change your detector’s battery twice a year or consider buying one with a sealed battery.
Regular Inspection and Maintenance
Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas with no color, taste, or odor. Because of this, carbon monoxide leaks can go undetected in your home until it is too late. It is important to have your furnace inspected each year by a qualified technician to ensure there are no problems with the vents, furnace, or chimney.
If you have a gas furnace, the technician should also check for leaks in the piping and fittings. If any repairs are needed, they should be made immediately to prevent carbon monoxide from leaking into your house.
It is also important to change the filters in your furnace every three months. A clogged filter can cause the furnace to work harder than necessary, leading to a buildup of carbon monoxide. If you have an oil furnace, it is important to make sure the tank is filled regularly and there are no leaks in the piping.
It is also a good idea to have your chimney inspected each year by a qualified chimney sweep technician to make sure there are no cracks or holes that could cause carbon monoxide buildup.
A crack in the flue of your gas furnace can allow dangerous levels of carbon monoxide into your home. This is especially true if it is combined with an overworked furnace, a dirty filter, or a lack of fresh air in the room.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it is key to make sure there are no cracks or holes around the base of your chimney. This is where sparks can escape and cause an explosion if ignited by the pilot light. It is also a good idea to check with your local fire department for any rules or regulations that may apply to your fireplace.
It is essential to have a good supply of fresh air in your residence to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide. This can be done by periodically opening windows and doors to allow the air to circulate or installing an exhaust fan in the kitchen or bathroom.
If you have a gas furnace, it is important to ensure the room is properly ventilated. A lack of ventilation can cause carbon monoxide to accumulate in the air, leading to death.
If your home has an attached garage, it is wise to open the door between the house and garage periodically when you are running appliances that give off heat such as cooking on a stove or using a clothes dryer. This will help prevent carbon monoxide from building up in the garage. It is also important to keep the door between the house and garage closed when the car runs in the garage. This will prevent exhaust fumes from entering your house.
In addition to checking your vents, it is important to make sure the outside air intake of your furnace is not blocked. This can be done by removing snow from around the air intake or making sure no items are blocking its path. It is also smart to ensure that all combustion appliances have enough fresh air coming in when they are running. This can be done by opening a window or door in the room where the appliance is located.
Proper Use of Appliances
It is key to use appliances correctly to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide. For example, you should never run a car engine in an enclosed space like a garage. You should also make sure that all combustion appliances are properly vented to the outside. This includes furnaces, water heaters, clothes dryers, and fireplaces. If you cannot properly vent the appliance to the outside, then it should not be used.
Remember to make sure the ventilation system is not clogged for gas appliances like furnaces and stoves that are vented to an exterior wall of your home through a wall or floor chase. This can be done by checking if any objects are blocking your vent and removing them.
In addition, it is important to keep appliances clean and free of dust, lint, and other debris. A dirty filter can cause the furnace to work harder than necessary, leading to a buildup of carbon monoxide. If you have an oil furnace, it is essential to make sure the tank is filled regularly, and no leaks are in the system. A leaky oil furnace can allow carbon monoxide to escape into your home.
Proper Installation of Furnace
Make sure all appliances are installed by a qualified technician in order to prevent carbon monoxide leaks. Improper installation can cause combustion appliances to fail to work properly and lead to carbon monoxide buildup.
If you are considering buying or installing a new appliance, be sure to consult with a qualified technician. They will tell you if the appliance is safe to use in your house and how it should be properly installed.
It is also important to have your furnace regularly inspected by a qualified technician. This can help ensure that there are no problems with the furnace that could lead to a potential carbon monoxide leak.
By following these tips, you can help to prevent carbon monoxide leaks in your home. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that can cause death or serious injury. It is important to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide and take steps to protect yourself and your family. To learn more about carbon monoxide in West Michigan and the surrounding areas and how to prevent leaks, contact us at Bel-Aire Heating & Cooling today. We also offer heating services and can help with any indoor air quality issues.