How A Furnace Can Leak Carbon Monoxide

As a homeowner, you're likely well aware of the importance of having a carbon monoxide detector in your home. It helps protect you from a colorless and odorless gas that can be quite fatal to those that are in your home. However, a common cause for carbon monoxide leaks is furnaces that are using gas to heat your home. Here is what you need to know about how a furnace can leak carbon monoxide.

A Cracked Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger plays a key role in how your furnace works. When the furnace creates heat, the byproduct that is created from burning natural gas will go through the heat exchanger. This helps warm the air that will eventually go through your home. However, that gas is not meant to leave the heat exchanger and is supposed to be contained so that it is not mixed in with the air that goes through your vents. A common problem is that the heat exchanger of a furnace will have a crack in it, which allows all of the carbon monoxide to leave the heat exchanger and get into the air. 

Thankfully, it is possible to replace a cracked heat exchanger with a new one if you have a problem with this specific part. You won't have to get a whole new furnace installed to keep your family safe. 

A Blocked Flue Vent

If the heat exchanger is working properly and is not cracked, then the dangerous gases that the furnace produces are going to go through the flue vent to escape your home. Unfortunately, if the flue has a blockage in it, then the gases are going to be trapped in your home and start leaking out of the furnace. This can happen because of animals making a nest in the opening of the flue vent so that nothing is able to properly escape the flue in the way that it is intended. You'll need to manually remove the blockage and install a new cap on the chimney so that it won't happen again.

Having a carbon monoxide detector go off in your home is a big problem that should be taken seriously. If you find yourself in this situation, leave your home immediately and call an HVAC professional for help. They'll be able to identify the problem that was causing carbon monoxide to enter your home from the furnace so that it will be safe inside your home once again.