All About Carbon Monoxide Poisoning From Furnaces

A furnace gives off some carbon monoxide as a byproduct of the combustion process. Such exhaust gases are usually vented harmlessly out of the house. However, some malfunctions can cause carbon monoxide to leak inside the house and poison the household. Below are some of the things you should know about carbon monoxide leakage and poisoning from furnaces.


Breathing in carbon monoxide can affect your health in various ways. For example, it can trigger respiratory problems, affect your vision, and affect your heart.

The effects of carbon monoxide poisoning depend on various things, such as your age and overall health. The elderly, invalids, expectant mothers, and infants are particularly vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning.


It's important to get out of the house and seek prompt medical care if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning. Below are some of the signs and symptoms of the poisoning:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

If you are in the house, get everyone out and don't get back in until the issue is resolved. Consult an HVAC technician to identify the cause of the leak and plug it before further complications.


A properly functioning furnace should not leak carbon monoxide. However, your furnace might leak carbon monoxide if:

  • The air filter is blocked, and the furnace is not getting as much air as it should.
  • The furnace is improperly vented and the carbon monoxide its producing is not getting out of the house.
  • The exhaust pipe from the furnace is cracked and leaking carbon monoxide.
  • The heat exchanger or combustion chamber is cracked and leaking partially burnt gases (that include carbon monoxide).

Anything that interferes with the complete combustion of fuel and venting of the furnace can trigger a carbon monoxide leak. Thus, you should take prompt care of all furnace malfunctions that can cause such problems.


The problem with carbon monoxide is that it is both odorless and colorless. Therefore, the best way to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning is to prevent the leaks or detect it as soon as it occurs. Below are some tips that can help:

  • Clean the furnace regularly.
  • Ensure the furnace is properly maintained.
  • Change the air filter regularly.
  • Fix all furnace malfunctions as soon as they occur.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector.

Ideally, you should consult a furnace technician to come up with a service schedule that suits your circumstances. It's also good to have the contacts of an emergency technician that you can contact at a moment's notice. For more information, visit a site such as

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