At the beginning of every winter, you start hearing murmurings about carbon monoxide safety–and for good reason. When cold weather begins, people turn on their furnaces for the first time in months, and the potential for carbon monoxide safety issues increase.

Why Furnaces Can Cause Carbon Monoxide Safety Concerns

A well-maintained furnace should not emit carbon monoxide into your home. But here are a few things you should be aware of in order to keep your furnace functioning correctly and ensure carbon monoxide safety:

  • Furnaces that have cracks in the heat exchanger can be very dangerous. When we do our furnace tuneups, we use a camera to make sure that we can see the entire heat exchanger and that it doesn’t have any cracks.
  • Poor installation can also cause carbon monoxide leaks. A city permit needs to be pulled and inspections need to be completed before it is safe to use a new unit.
  • Furnaces need to be properly maintained. All furnaces should receive an annual tuneup to tackle repairs promptly, and homeowners should make sure change filters frequently as well.

Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

  • Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, so it is difficult to detect. That’s why each area of your home should have it’s own carbon monoxide detector (contact us if you want tips on which one to choose).
  • Have existing CO-emitting appliances inspected by a professional, and have all new appliances installed by a professional to ensure proper venting.
  • Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headaches, dizziness, nausea/flu-like symptoms, shortness of breath, and confusion or memory problems. People too often dismiss these symptoms, attributing them to a normal cold or flu, but if you have any suspicions at all, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Don’t take carbon monoxide safety lightly! If you have any questions or concerns, call your local fire department or Xcel Energy. They can help you determine if there is indeed a problem and point you in the direction of a solution.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a furnace tuneup to assess its safety, please contact Dan at 720.876.7166 or dan@sensibleheat.net.