Is your gas furnace 15 years or older? If you don’t know the age of your furnace, that is something you should find out as soon as possible. Many furnaces, once they reach the age of 15 years or older, begin breaking down and experiencing problems. This may include issues as minor as decreased efficiency (which can end up costing you a lot of money) or as severe as carbon monoxide leaks (which could lead to sickness and even death). The “silent killer” can creep into your home for months without you even noticing. Don’t take any chances this winter. Call Cyclone in Ames, Iowa today to schedule a furnace inspection before it’s too late and you have a major emergency furnace repair on your hands.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, tasteless, odorless, and poisonous gas. It’s produced by fuel-fired appliances including gas or oil furnaces, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, space heaters, and ovens. Fumes from your car or snow blower also produce carbon monoxide, which is why they should not be turned on and left running in a contained space, such as a garage. When your appliances are properly maintained and inspected regularly, they should function properly and the CO they produce should be ventilated directly out of the home and not pose a problem to your health. When people breath in CO, it gets into the bloodstream and forms carboxyhemoglobin, which is a toxic compound. This oftentimes produces flu-like symptoms, headaches, confusion, and possibly even unconsciousness, brain damage, or death. The effects slowly as the amount of CO in the body builds up over time. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, consult a doctor and have your home inspected for CO immediately.

When Does Carbon Monoxide from Your Furnace Become a Problem?

Carbon monoxide becomes a threat when it escapes into the home instead of ventilating to the outdoors like it’s supposed to. There are several ways this can happen.

  • CO can become a major problem when furnaces or other appliances are installed in the home incorrectly in the first place. If you’re going to purchase a brand new gas furnace, you better be sure that your hired contractor knows what they are doing and is knowledgeable enough to install it properly and safely.
  • If your furnace filters are not cleaned and replaced regularly, they can become dirty and blocked, preventing airflow. This causes the carbon monoxide to back up in your furnace and escape into the home. Avoid this problem by having your furnace air filters changed regularly. Depending on the type of filter your furnace has, you may need to change it anywhere from once every month to once every three months.
  • When a furnace gets older, cracks, holes, corrosion, and rust can allow CO to leak into the home.
  • A change in the color of the gas flame can be an obvious sign that you have a CO problem. If the flame is yellow, instead of blue like it’s supposed to be, it means the CO level has increased.

Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Cyclone Contracting offers its customers quality and dependable CO detectors to protect you against carbon monoxide poisoning. These detectors contain rechargeable iron or lithium batteries, three mounting options (tabletop, direct, or six-foot power cord), and have an eight-year life. Call us to purchase yours today!

There are several possible areas that can be the source of a carbon monoxide problem in the home. That’s why it is very important to have your furnace inspected once or twice a year and to make sure you have properly working carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout the home. If you have not yet had your annual furnace inspection and tune-up, be sure to get it done as soon as possible. Cyclone Contracting will install a new furnace for you or service or repair your current furnace. We also provide other Ames heating and cooling services, as well as indoor air quality products to keep your home clean and fresh all year long.