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Gas Furnaces and Carbon Monoxide: The Risks and How to Protect Your Family

February 06, 2017
Whenever your gas furnace is on, carbon monoxide is being created. However, there is no cause for worry. It is a natural result of the fuel-burning process. As long as your furnace is working properly, it is harmlessly deposited outside your home. Carbon monoxide is stored inside your furnace’s heat exchanger until it is safely pushed through the flue vent to the open air around your home. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a result of a malfunctioning gas furnace.

Breathing in too much carbon monoxide stops the body from using oxygen and can damage the central nervous system and heart. While carbon monoxide poisoning can injure anyone exposed to the gas, it is notably risky for people with existing lung or heart problems, pregnant woman, infants and children. Here are some tips to ease your mine mind and preserve a healthy, comfortable and safe home.

1. Invest in carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can’t be detected by humans. Without a detector, it’s nearly impossible to notice carbon monoxide is gathering in your home. You may be unaware until someone starts showing symptoms of poisoning. Put carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home, ideally near bedrooms, to be alerted to rising levels before anyone gets sick.
2. Be sure your gas furnace was installed properly. If your gas furnace wasn’t installed by professionals, you should have it looked at. The experts at Contra Costa Heating & AC can make sure your blower motor is installed correctly and that they don’t see any flaws in your ductwork design. Carbon monoxide can accrue if there are problems in those areas.
3. Schedule annual maintenance. Annual maintenance is the best action to take to prevent carbon monoxide leaks from your gas furnace. During a yearly tune-up, the technicians will clean your system and examine it for malfunctions or problems. It’s also a great idea to have any other gas-, coal- or oil-burning appliances professionally serviced as well.
4. Keep your air filter clean. A stoppage of airflow caused by a dusty filter can cause carbon monoxide to leak out of your system. Set a reminder on your phone or mark your calendar to frequently check your air filter and clean or change it per the manufacturer’s specifications.
5. Always depend on professionals to repair your gas furnace and other fuel-burning appliances.


Carbon monoxide can be a serious threat, but you can have peace of mind by taking a few meaures. You’ll always have the experts at Contra Costa Heating & AC in the Bay Area behind you to help, too. Give us a call at 510-343-9841 if you have questions or concerns about carbon monoxide or your gas furnace. You can also schedule an appointment using our online scheduler.