Gas Furnaces and Carbon Monoxide: The Risks and How to Protect Your Family

February 06, 2017
Whenever your gas furnace is working, carbon monoxide is being formed. However, there is no need to worry. It is a natural by-product of the fuel-burning process. As long as your furnace is working properly, it is harmlessly deposited outside your home. Carbon monoxide is kept inside your furnace’s heat exchanger until it is safely moved through the flue vent to the open air around your home. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a consequence of a malfunctioning gas furnace.

Inhaling too much carbon monoxide stops the body from using oxygen and can harm the central nervous system and heart. While carbon monoxide poisoning can injure anyone exposed to the gas, it is notably risky for people with existing lung or heart issues, pregnant woman, infants and children. Here are some tips to ease your mine mind and maintain 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 perceive carbon monoxide is accumulating 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 Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can make sure your blower motor is installed correctly and that they don’t see any flaws in your ductwork design. Carbon monoxide can accrue if there are problems in those areas.
3. Schedule annual maintenance. Routine maintenance is the best action to take to prevent carbon monoxide leaks from your gas furnace. During a yearly maintenance appointment, the technicians 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 spoiled filter can cause carbon monoxide to bleed out from your system. Set a reminder on your phone or mark your calendar to regularly check your air filter and clean or change it per the manufacturer’s instruction.
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 precautions. You’ll always have the experts at Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in McMurray just around the corner to help, too. Give us a call at 724-370-0141 if you have questions or concerns about carbon monoxide or your gas furnace. You can also schedule an appointment using our online scheduler.