How to Tell If Your Furnace is Leaking Carbon Monoxide

How to Tell If Your Furnace is Leaking Carbon Monoxide

As carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, you can’t detect it with your eyes or nose. However, because carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas, it is critical to become acquainted with the Symptoms of a carbon monoxide leak. A carbon monoxide leak is always possible when using a gas furnace. You can now see if your furnace is leaking carbon monoxide.

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What Exactly Is Carbon Monoxide, And Why Is It Hazardous?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly toxic gas that can be produced by any gas or oil-burning appliance or product in your home. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be difficult to detect, so it’s critical to look for early warning signs before it’s too late. OSHA states that “Carbon monoxide can be inhaled with odorless gases, and you may be unaware that CO exists. It is a common industrial hazard caused by incomplete carbonaceous material combustion.”

Carbon monoxide poisoning harms the body and can endanger the entire family, guests staying in a lodging facility, or employees working in small, compact commercial buildings.

Carbon Monoxide Warning Signs In Your Home:

As previously stated, carbon monoxide is extremely difficult to detect; however, if you suspect a visible or odorous leak in your furnace, you can proactively direct your attention to it. You can look for early warning signs.

If there is a lot of condensation on the window or wall where the unit is installed, this can be a good indicator of carbon monoxide if extra precautions are taken to remove the excess water. If your device leaks, you may notice brown or yellow spots in addition to condensation around windows. Because you can’t smell carbon monoxide, this could be it.

Carbon Monoxide Detector:

A carbon monoxide detector is your best friend when detecting carbon monoxide leaks. Carbon monoxide alarm batteries should be tested regularly. You should also ensure that you have installed detectors where local regulations require. This is near the garage and in front of each bedroom.

What if my carbon monoxide detector fails? Or do you want to know if your furnace or fireplace is broken? There are other methods for determining whether your furnace is leaking carbon monoxide. While they should not be used in place of carbon monoxide warnings, it is still a good idea to keep an eye out for these signs to protect yourself.

Signs On The Furnace:

Your furnace may be leaking carbon monoxide. Here are a few examples:

Soot: You may have a carbon monoxide leak if you notice unusual soot-like spots around your furnace. These are available in black, brown, or yellow. Carbon monoxide does not emit odors, but the problem that caused the leak may. Odors that are out of the ordinary should be investigated by a professional.

Flames: If the pilot light on your furnace is yellow rather than blue, you may be burning carbon monoxide. Unfortunately, there is little evidence of leaks in the furnace’s immediate vicinity.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide:

Because carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal, you should be aware of the physical symptoms of a carbon monoxide leak.

Here are some of the symptoms you could be experiencing:

  • Drab headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Chest ache
  • Vision impairment
  • Consciousness loss

The severity of these symptoms is determined by the amount of carbon monoxide inhaled. Carbon monoxide, on the other hand, has no safe exposure limits. Consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

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What If You Suspect A Leak?

What should I do if I suspect my home has a carbon monoxide leak? Remove family members from the house (including pets, as they can also be affected by gas). Contact both your HVAC Professional and your gas company. Large leaks may necessitate the intervention of the fire department. Following that, you and everyone in your family should be examined by a doctor to ensure that you have not been affected by gas exposure.

The carbon monoxide poisoning problem can only be solved if caught early. Check your carbon monoxide detector right now. If the alarm has gone off and your furnace isn’t leaking, but you’re concerned that it will soon, call your local furnace repair technician. We can inspect your furnace and determine if there is a reasonable risk of carbon monoxide exposure due to faulty or neglected equipment.


How long does it take for carbon monoxide poisoning to manifest?

A concentration of 400 ppm, for example, will cause headaches in 1 to 2 hours. The same concentration can lead to unconsciousness and death in 3 to 5 hours.

How do you test for carbon monoxide in the absence of a detector?

Finding Carbon Monoxide Leaks

  1. Stains that are brownish or yellowish around appliances.
  2. A pilot light that frequently fails.
  3. Instead of a clear blue flame, the burner flame appears yellow (exception: natural gas fireplaces)
  4. There is no upward draught in the chimney flue.
  5. The air smells musty.
  6. There may be soot, smoke, or a backdraft inside the house.

How long does it take for a furnace to poison you with carbon monoxide?

Poisoning occurs quickly. Carbon monoxide can make you sick in as little as five minutes, depending on how saturated the air is. Carbon monoxide poisoning is characterized by the symptoms like Chest ache and Vomiting.

Is your furnace emitting carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide has no odor. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas produced by combustion. This means that as a homeowner, it can leak from your gas furnace, stove, dryer, and water heater, as well as your wood stove/fireplace.

Can your furnace cause carbon monoxide poisoning?

Every year, leaking furnaces or boilers are one of the leading causes of fatal carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and extremely lethal byproduct of burning fuel to heat your home.

How can you tell if your furnace is producing carbon monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide Leak Symptoms

  • Soot: You might notice sooty stains on your furnace.
  • Smell: While carbon monoxide has no odor, it may be accompanied by other exhaust gases.
  • A yellow flame from a burner: Instead of the usual blue flame, the pilot flame may produce an unusual yellow flame.


About Author

Mobeen Shahid

Mobeen Shahid

Mobeen Shahid is a Mechanical Engineer with two years of experience in the HVAC industry. His passion is analyzing HVAC issues, and he works relentlessly to devise customized solutions. He has been in the industry long enough to know the ins and outs and ensures that areas are optimally heated, cooled, and ventilated.

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