You deserve to be safe no matter how you heat your house in the winter.
If you use a natural gas furnace to heat your home, you may have a dual fuel system that, during the “cool but not quite cold” seasons of the year, employs an electric heat pump. However, as December comes and the weather gets colder, you start burning gas.
Of course, burning anything calls for safety measures. Flames are the first thing you see. Natural gas is another flammable substance. The exhaust gases produced by the combustion process are the last but not least, and this is where the majority of issues arise.
You know, the carbon monoxide-containing thing.
Carbon Monoxide Should Not Be Allowed To Enter Your Home
It’s dangerous! Carbon monoxide (also known as “CO”) can cause headaches and dizziness in small amounts. In larger doses, it can cause unconsciousness. Or even murder you.
Fortunately, carbon monoxide detectors can warn you when CO levels are dangerously high. However, “dangerous” is a relative term, and some CO detectors are more sensitive than others.
In any case, your furnace could be the source of CO leaks into your home. Furnaces, after all, burn gas and emit CO as part of the normal combustion process. Almost all of these gases are vented out of the system and never enter your living space in most furnaces.
Your furnace was built to handle combustion gases in this manner.
However, there are some circumstances under which your furnace may leak carbon monoxide:
- Heat exchanger that is corroded or fractured
- Lack of enough combustion air
- Negative air pressure that extracts the furnace’s gasses
- Setup of the exhaust system to use an old chimney for venting
- An HVAC contractor’s poor installation
How can you be sure your furnace is releasing exhaust gases securely and properly, without waiting for your CO detector to scream at you (and you do not want things to go that bad)?
A Digital Combustion Analyzer Determines The Safety Of Your Furnace
If you own a natural gas appliance, you should ensure that it meets all of the manufacturer’s safety requirements. One of these requirements is safe combustion, and a combustion analyzer can help ensure that your appliances are properly venting CO.
A combustion analyzer is kept on hand by some HVAC contractors. But it’s better if most do keep one on hand to use it when checking furnaces, whether it’s for tune-ups or to determine the issue.
We must take combustion safety very seriously, thus it is important to take action! HVAC experts will have to turn on the furnace and collect many readings near the machinery, within the vent pipe, and inside the living area to use the combustion analyzer. The amount of combustion gases escaping the furnace may be precisely measured by modern combustion analyzers.
In the end, you’ll be able to determine whether the unit is venting properly and whether any CO is currently escaping into your living space or might do so in the future.
Identifying Problems With Efficiency
Monitoring efficiency is a further justification for getting furnace combustion readings. Digital combustion analyzers additionally display the gases and their quantities that are passing via your flue pipe.
Why is that crucial? Because your furnace could not be performing as efficiently as it should if levels are out of whack with what the furnace is designed to produce. This may be the case even if combustion is a completely safe process (e.g. a CO leak). Although some combustion problems may not be harmful, they may have an effect on how well your furnace works.
Maybe all that needs to be done is a little tweaking. If anything is wrong, your technician should be able to explain what it is and how to fix it.
In the event that your gas appliance has a problem, Your HVAC technician is required to notify you. As HVAC experts, They should view it as a responsibility.
HVAC specialists will be less-than-certain about potential safety hazards without adequate combustion analysis and results from an analyzer tool, and it is always crucial to be certain!
So here’s what to do if you’re worried about whether your furnace is safe or about potential CO issues from a gas appliance: Invest in a good CO detector if you don’t already have one. The most significant factor is that. Then, give your HVAC contractor a call and inquire about their ability to conduct a combustion analysis using a computerized tool.
I’m hoping everything works out. If it isn’t, your contractor ought to be able to make the necessary adjustments or at the very least suggest modifications to make your furnace safer.