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 reason to worry. It is a natural consequence of the fuel-burning process. As long as your furnace is operating properly, it is safely deposited outside your home. Carbon monoxide is contained 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 product of a malfunctioning gas furnace.

Taking in too much carbon monoxide blocks the body from using oxygen and can hurt 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 diseases, 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 building up in your home. You may be unaware 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 specialists, you should have it checked. The experts at Scott Temperature 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 spaces.
3. Schedule annual maintenance. Annual maintenance is the best step you can take to prevent carbon monoxide leaks from your gas furnace. During a yearly maintenance appointment, our professionals will clean your system and inspect it for malfunctions or problems. It’s also a good idea to have any other gas-, coal- or oil-burning appliances professionally serviced as well.
4. Keep your air filter clean. A backup 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 regularly check your air filter and clean or change it per the manufacturer’s recommendation.
5. Always rely on professionals to service your gas furnace and other fuel-burning appliances.


Carbon monoxide can be extremely hazardous, but you can have peace of mind by taking a few safeguards. You’ll always have the pros at Scott Temperature in Lawrence behind you to help, too. Give us a call at 785-269-0465 if you have questions or concerns about carbon monoxide or your gas furnace. You can also schedule an appointment using our online scheduler.