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 cause for worry. It is a natural result of the fuel-burning process. As long as your furnace is running properly, it is harmlessly deposited outside your home. Carbon monoxide is stored inside your furnace’s heat exchanger until it is safely pushed through the flue vent to the open air around your home. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a result of a malfunctioning gas furnace.

Breathing in too much carbon monoxide blocks the body from using oxygen and can damage the central nervous system and heart. While carbon monoxide poisoning can injure anyone exposed to the gas, it is especially risky for people with existing lung or heart problems, 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 nearly impossible to notice carbon monoxide is accumulating in your home. You may not be aware until someone starts showing symptoms of poisoning. Put 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 specialists, you should have it inspected. The experts at Gilray Heating and Cooling can make sure your blower motor is installed properly and that everything looks correct in your ductwork design. Carbon monoxide can accrue if there are problems in those territories.
3. Schedule annual maintenance. Routine maintenance is the best step you can take to prevent carbon monoxide leaks from your gas furnace. During a yearly maintenance appointment, your professionals will clean your system and examine it for malfunctions or problems. It’s also a great idea to have any other gas-, coal- or oil-burning appliances professionally checked as well.
4. Keep your air filter clean. A blockage of airflow caused by a dusty filter can cause carbon monoxide to leak out of your system. Set a reminder on your phone or mark your calendar to frequently check your air filter and clean or change it per the manufacturer’s specifications.
5. Always depend on professionals to repair 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 professionals at Gilray Heating and Cooling in Wausau behind you to help, too. Give us a call at 715-301-0727 if you have questions or concerns about carbon monoxide or your gas furnace. You can also schedule an appointment using our online scheduler.