Reasons For High Carbon Monoxide Levels In Your Furnace

14 April 2023
 Categories: , Blog


Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause serious harm or even death. It is produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, such as gas, oil, or wood.

Your furnace can be a source of CO in your home, and its levels can be affected by a variety of factors. Here are the main reasons why your furnace may be producing high levels of CO and what you can do to prevent this.

Poor Maintenance

Poor maintenance is a huge factor in high CO levels in your furnace. If your furnace is not cleaned and serviced regularly, dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate in its burners and cause incomplete combustion. Incomplete combustion is when the fuel is not burned properly and releases carbon monoxide instead of carbon dioxide. This can result in the release of dangerous levels of CO into your home.

To prevent this, make sure to have your furnace inspected and maintained by a professional HVAC technician at least every few months. The inspection mostly involves cleaning the burners and testing the air filters.

Air filters are designed to remove dust, dirt, and other particles from the air before it enters your furnace. If your air filters are clogged, they can restrict airflow and cause your furnace to burn fuel inefficiently. This can result in the production of high levels of CO. Make sure to replace your air filters regularly according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

Blocked Exhaust Pipes

Your furnace exhaust pipe is designed to carry exhaust fumes, including CO, safely outside your home. If your exhaust pipe becomes blocked, either by debris or snow, it can cause CO to build up in your home. The CO has nowhere else to go and will settle in your home, causing dangerous levels of CO if left unchecked.

Check your exhaust pipes regularly for any blockages, and make sure they are clear of debris. You should also keep an eye out for any snow build-up during the winter months to prevent any unexpected exhaust pipe blockages.

Cracked Heat Exchangers

Heat exchangers are basically the combustion chamber of your furnace, where fuel is burned to produce heat. They work by transferring heat from the burning fuel to the air that gets blown into your home.

If a heat exchanger becomes cracked, gas or smoke can escape and increase the amount of CO in your home. The cracks are usually caused by age and wear, with older furnaces being more susceptible to this issue. This is a serious issue and requires immediate attention from a professional HVAC technician. The damaged heat exchanger should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent further CO build-up. 

For more information about furnace repair, contact a local company.