An ugly combination of events could be putting your family at risk, literally under your nose, without your knowledge.
If your furnace isn’t operating at tip-top efficiency, fuel combustion could be creating lethal levels of carbon monoxide (CO). If your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, that gas could then escape into your living space. The weather in southeast Michigan means our furnaces are in use through relatively long heating seasons, so it’s important to understand this very real threat.
Why the Panic?
The process of combustion creates carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a killer. It is colorless, odorless and cannot be tasted.
A cracked heat exchanger allows exhaust gases from the combustion process to escape from the furnace. These gases, containing carbon monoxide, will not be channeled by your flue to a place outside your home for safe dispersal. Rather, they could enter into your home. They could contaminate the air your family breathes and — if they concentrate sufficiently in a closed environment — could cause fatalities.
Scaremongering for Profit?
Is this warning simply an example of a service industry inventing or exaggerating a problem just to increase profits? Not at all:
- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has determined that annually around 170 people lose their lives from carbon monoxide created by consumer products
Your Course of Action
In-home CO2 detectors are often not sufficiently sensitive to detect emissions of carbon monoxide from furnace heat exchangers, which are typically located in areas that are remote from your living space. As a responsible homeowner, you must have a professional test carried out by an HVAC professional to determine the soundness of your heat exchanger.
If a cracked heat exchanger is discovered, there is no reliable way to fix it; replacement is the only safe, cost-effective option. This is the HVAC industry’s standard response, but that’s where uniformity of service ends. You must have a reliable, trusted company carry out the tests and advise you on the results. From Auburn Hills to Warren, residents have been trusting Aladdin Heating and Cooling for more than 65 years. Contact us to schedule a service call.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Warren, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat exchangers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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