3 Warning Signs Your Gas Furnace Is Producing Carbon Monoxide

Posted on: 24 April 2018

If your home has an old gas furnace, you may be concerned about it producing carbon monoxide. If so, look for the following warning signs that your heater may be producing and releasing the gas into your home.

1. Pilot Light Glows Yellow

One visual sign you can look for to determine whether or not your furnace may be producing carbon monoxide is the color of the pilot flame. Normally, the flame glows a bright blue, indicating that the pilot is receiving the right amount of gas and is burning it cleanly.

However, if the pilot changes colors and starts burning yellow, this is a sign that it is receiving too much gas. As the pilot burns off the excess gas, it could then produce carbon monoxide as a byproduct. 

If you notice that the pilot is yellow, look above it to inspect the interior of the chamber. If you see black streaks, these are likely caused by carbon being burnt off in the flame, and its presence is another indicator that carbon monoxide is being produced.

2. Household Members Start Having Symptoms

Another warning sign that your furnace is sending carbon monoxide throughout your home is the presence of unusual symptoms in you or other household members. You or they may start noticing unexplainable headaches, as well as a burning sensation in the nose or mouth.

Since carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas, its presence can cause symptoms in anyone who breathes it. Depending on the amount of gas and the sensitivity of the individual, these symptoms could range from minor, such as mild headaches, to severe reactions, such as confusion or vomiting.

Either one of these types of symptoms indicates carbon monoxide poisoning. And, the symptoms may get worse over time as exposure continues. 

3. Carbon Monoxide Detector Goes Off

The most obvious sign that carbon monoxide is present in your house and is possibly caused by your furnace is when your carbon monoxide detector goes off repeatedly. 

However, if your carbon monoxide detector does go off once, replace the batteries just in case the beeping is a sign of low power. If the beeping continues after you replace the batteries, call in an HVAC contractor to have a look at your furnace.

If you suspect you have the gas in your home and do not have a detector, you may want to get one to verify your suspicions so you can have your furnace fixed immediately to avoid further exposure.

If you notice any of the above warning signs, your furnace may be producing carbon monoxide and sending poisonous fumes throughout your home. Contact heating repair services as soon as possible to have them inspect your heater and make the necessary repairs to minimize the risk of your furnace producing carbon monoxide in the future.