Preventing CO Poisoning: Furnace Maintenance

Carbon monoxide (CO) is scary – it’s colorless, it’s odorless, and when inhaled it can be lethal. The scariest thing about it though is that it can be found in just every home. CO is the natural byproduct of combustion fumes, which means if you use a furnace to heat your home, you may be breathing it in.Preventing CO Poisoning: Furnace Maintenance 1

It is important to schedule regular maintenance for your furnace. If your ventilation system has not been properly cared for, or was installed incorrectly there is a chance that you may experience backdrafting.

Backfdrafting occurs when the direction of airflow is reversed in a flue pipe or chimney. Instead of flowing up and out, combustion gases enter your home.

How can you prevent CO from entering your home? It is important to know the signs. Here are seven signs that you can see:

  1. Soot
  2. Moisture on the inside of windows
  3. Loose masonry on your chimney
  4. A furnace panel that is loose or missing
  5. Vent connections that are loose or disconnected
  6. Rust or water streak on the vents
  7. Falling debris

Although it is not a direct indicator of CO, you should check the flame in your furnace to ensure that it is blue. A yellow flame may be a signal an issue with combustion gases.

As we’ve already stated, CO is colorless and odorless, so it is hard to detect. Your best bet for protecting your family is to install a carbon monoxide detector. We recommend that you purchase an alarm approved by Underwriter Laboratories or International Approval Service. Only choose a device that can be self-tested and comes with a long-term warranty.

Check out the Canada Safety Council for more information on recognizing the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning.

Keep your home safe with Alpine Insurance & Financial!

Source – Preventing Carbon Monoxide Problems

Photo – E.P.

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