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 need to worry. It is a natural by-product of the fuel-burning process. As long as your furnace is operating properly, it is carefully deposited outside your home. Carbon monoxide is stored inside your furnace’s heat exchanger until it is safely moved through the flue vent to the outdoors. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a consequence of a malfunctioning gas furnace.

Inhaling too much carbon monoxide prevents the body from using oxygen and can hurt the central nervous system and heart. While carbon monoxide poisoning can affect anyone exposed to the gas, it is especially risky for people with existing lung or heart diseases, 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 notice carbon monoxide is gathering in your home. You may not be aware until someone starts showing symptoms of poisoning. Install 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 pros, you should have it looked at. The experts at Ilten's Incorporated can make sure your blower motor is installed correctly and that they don’t see any flaws in your ductwork design. Carbon monoxide can collect if there are problems in those areas.
3. Schedule annual maintenance. Regular maintenance is the best step you can take to prevent carbon monoxide leaks from your gas furnace. During a yearly tune-up, the experts will clean your system and inspect it for malfunctions or problems. It’s also a good idea to have any other gas-, coal- or oil-burning appliances professionally checked as well.
4. Keep your air filter clean. A stoppage of airflow caused by a dirty filter can cause carbon monoxide to leak out of 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 specifications.
5. Always depend on professionals to fix your gas furnace and other fuel-burning appliances.


Carbon monoxide can be very dangerous, but you can have peace of mind by taking a few safeguards. You’ll always have the pros at Ilten's Incorporated in Cedar Rapids around to help, too. Give us a call at 319-208-3295 if you have questions or concerns about carbon monoxide or your gas furnace. You can also schedule an appointment using our online scheduler.