This is a question people often ask when they’re considering installing a gas furnace or if they already have one but have noticed odd behavior from it. We understand why people might have worries: natural gas combustion creates carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless, and highly toxic gas. Any use of natural gas in a home has some possibility of creating either CO or fire hazards.
This is much different than saying a gas furnace is a “dangerous” appliance. We want to assure you that if you use a gas furnace in Conway, AR for your home comfort, you aren’t in serious danger from the furnace provided you take care of standard upkeep on it. This means annual heating maintenance from professionals and always calling promptly for repairs when something seems wrong with the furnace.
The short version: Yes, a gas furnace can become dangerous, but it’s easy to keep it running safely.
The safety concerns you may have with a gas furnace
The main ways that a gas furnace can become hazardous is if it’s venting poorly or has a crack in its heat exchanger.
- Poor venting occurs if the flue that removes the combustion gases from the furnace becomes blocked or restricted. Under normal operation, the furnace exhausts all the harmful gases from the heat exchanger through the flue and out of the house. Any blockage in the flue can lead to the gases being pushed into the house.
- A cracked heat exchanger can allow carbon monoxide to escape from the exchanger (a metal chamber where combustion gas is stored) and enter the air being blown into the house. Heat exchangers can crack because of corrosion or years of use; this is most likely to occur in a furnace that’s too old.
Maintenance catches such problems early
Routine maintenance gives professionals the opportunity to examine the furnace carefully and discover if there are issues with venting or if the exchanger has corrosion or cracks developing.
These annual inspections are focused on ensuring a furnace can operate safely. If there are any concerns, the technicians can offer solutions (this sometimes means having to get a new furnace). Maintenance tune-up steps also help fend off future safety issues.
You must have CO detectors in your home
An important defense against dangers from a gas furnace is carbon monoxide detectors. Any home that uses natural gas (whether for a furnace or anything else) must have CO detectors placed at strategic positions. If you have these detectors in your house, you’ll have an important warning if the furnace does start to leak out carbon monoxide.
We want you to enjoy the comfort and energy-savings a natural gas furnace can provide your home, so we strongly recommend you sign up for routine maintenance. And if you notice anything wrong with your furnace (odd sounds, loss of heating power, acrid odors, starting and stopping at strange times) you can call us to fix it. We have someone on call 24/7 to answer your needs.
Dewees HVAC is always focused on doing the right thing for homeowners—even when it’s hard! Call us for heating service today.