HVAC Maintenance and Carbon Monoxide Safety

By in , , ,
HVAC Maintenance and Carbon Monoxide Safety

There are some things in life you just don’t mess around with. Not wearing seatbelts while driving or riding in a vehicle. Riding a bicycle or motorcycle without a helmet. So why mess around with something as deadly as carbon monoxide? It’s one reason why HVAC maintenance is so darn important.

Modern furnaces are extraordinarily safe to operate, but all forms of combustion produce deadly carbon monoxide gas. You can’t smell, taste, or see it—which is why CO is called the silent killer. It’s absolutely critical to make sure the gas furnace in your Denver, Colorado home is working correctly.

One of the leading risk factors is a cracked heat exchanger, which is why an experienced technician examines it during every HVAC tune-up. A cracked heat exchanger can allow carbon monoxide to leak into the home rather than being vented to the outside. It can also be a fire danger.

What causes a heat exchanger to crack?

Cracks can happen over time from normal wear and tear, but many times it’s because of a problem in the furnace. Short cycling or a dirty filter can cause extreme heat which cracks the exchanger.

Can it be prevented?

The answer is almost always yes. When HVAC maintenance is performed the technician can identify signs of excess wear and tear and determine the cause before a crack appears. It also includes cleaning and testing of all furnace components to assure they are working correctly.

Remember, ALL sources of combustion create carbon monoxide. Fireplaces, wood stoves, and gas hot water heaters can also be dangerous. Even when all precautions are taken, installing carbon monoxide detectors is a good idea. CO monitors are even better. Detectors only sound an alarm when the level of carbon monoxide becomes dangerous. Monitors continually measure the CO level so you can see any changes and be alerted to even low levels of carbon monoxide. Researchers now believe that long-term exposure to even low levels of CO gas can cause health problems.

If you have any concerns about carbon monoxide safety in your home, please call Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve been keeping Denver and the suburbs comfortable (and safe) since 1950. Follow us on Facebook for more great information year-round.