Gas Furnaces and Carbon Monoxide: The Risks and How to Protect Your Family

February 06, 2017
Whenever your gas furnace is working, carbon monoxide is being formed. However, there is no need to worry. It is a natural by-product of the fuel-burning process. As long as your furnace is running properly, it is carefully deposited outside your home. Carbon monoxide is stored inside your furnace’s heat exchanger until it is safely forced through the flue vent to the outdoors. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a consequence of a malfunctioning gas furnace.

Breathing in too much carbon monoxide blocks the body from using oxygen and can harm the central nervous system and heart. While carbon monoxide poisoning can affect anyone exposed to the gas, it is more risky for people with existing lung or heart problems, pregnant woman, infants and children. Here are some tips to ease your mine mind and sustain 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 gathering in your home. You may be unaware until someone starts showing symptoms of poisoning. Introduce 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 looked at. The experts at Honke Heating & AC can make sure your blower motor is installed accurately 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. Regular maintenance is the best action to take to prevent carbon monoxide leaks from your gas furnace. During a yearly tune-up, our professionals will clean your system and examine it for malfunctions or problems. It’s also a decent idea to have any other gas-, coal- or oil-burning appliances professionally checked as well.
4. Keep your air filter clean. A stoppage of airflow caused by a dusty filter can cause carbon monoxide to bleed out from 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 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 precautions. You’ll always have the pros at Honke Heating & AC in Gresham around to help, too. Give us a call at 503-663-8033 if you have questions or concerns about carbon monoxide or your gas furnace. You can also schedule an appointment using our online scheduler.