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 produced. However, there is no reason to worry. It is a natural consequence 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 forced through the flue vent to the outside. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a product of a malfunctioning gas furnace.

Taking in too much carbon monoxide stops the body from using oxygen and can hurt the central nervous system and heart. While carbon monoxide poisoning can hurt 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 sustain 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 practically impossible to know carbon monoxide is accumulating in your home. You may be unaware until someone starts showing symptoms of poisoning. Introduce 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 specialists, you should have it inspected. The experts at Home Comfort Heating & Air can make sure your blower motor is installed accurately and that everything looks correct in your ductwork design. Carbon monoxide can collect if there are problems in those areas.
3. Schedule annual maintenance. Annual maintenance is the best step you can take to prevent carbon monoxide leaks from your gas furnace. During a yearly checkup, your professionals will clean your system and check it for malfunctions or problems. It’s also a decent idea to have any other gas-, coal- or oil-burning appliances professionally checked as well.
4. Keep your air filter clean. A backup of airflow caused by a dirty filter can cause carbon monoxide to bleed out from 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 instruction.
5. Always count 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 pros at Home Comfort Heating & Air in Elk River behind you to help, too. Give us a call at 763-276-0617 if you have questions or concerns about carbon monoxide or your gas furnace. You can also schedule an appointment using our online scheduler.