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

February 06, 2017
Whenever your gas furnace is running, carbon monoxide is being created. However, there is no need to worry. It is a natural consequence of the fuel-burning process. As long as your furnace is operating properly, it is carefully 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 outside. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a consequence of a malfunctioning gas furnace.

Inhaling too much carbon monoxide stops the body from using oxygen and can harm the central nervous system and heart. While carbon monoxide poisoning can affect anyone exposed to the gas, it is more risky for people with existing lung or heart problems, pregnant woman, infants and children. Here are some tips to ease your mine mind and maintain 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 almost impossible to know carbon monoxide is accumulating 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 pros, you should have it inspected. The experts at Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC can make sure your blower motor is installed accurately and that there are no flaws in your ductwork design. Carbon monoxide can collect if there are problems in those areas.
3. Schedule annual maintenance. Annual maintenance is the best way to prevent carbon monoxide leaks from your gas furnace. During a yearly checkup, our professionals will clean your system and inspect it for malfunctions or problems. It’s also a good idea to have any other gas-, coal- or oil-burning appliances professionally monitored as well.
4. Keep your air filter clean. A backup of airflow caused by a dusty filter can cause carbon monoxide to escape your system. Set a reminder on your phone or mark your calendar to routinely check your air filter and clean or change it per the manufacturer’s recommendation.
5. Always depend on professionals to fix 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 pros at Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC in Ellsworth behind you to help, too. Give us a call at 715-318-6728 if you have questions or concerns about carbon monoxide or your gas furnace. You can also schedule an appointment using our online scheduler.