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Won’t my carbon monoxide detector tell me when I need a new furnace?

HVAC McCullough, HVAC Austin

Every home should have a carbon monoxide detector, but the fact that it is not going off doesn’t mean everything is safe. It is important to have your system checked out periodically to ensure that there is no risk of a leak in your gas furnace. In the reverse, when your CO detector does go off, that doesn’t mean your furnace is ready to be replaced. In many cases, other appliances or the gas line itself caused the emission. Even when your furnace is the source of the CO leak, there are repairs we can do to prevent a complete replacement of your system. The multi-level complexity is a large part of why you need to rely on professionals to routinely maintain and inspect your furnace.

CO Detectors Don’t Catch Every Instance of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide detectors vary in quality and virtually all of them must be replaced every few years because their sensors become ineffective. Also, even small amounts of carbon monoxide have an accumulative effect in the body, and — to prevent false alarms — detectors have to detect a minimum threshold of carbon monoxide over a period of time before they sound their alarm.

What Do I Do if My Carbon Monoxide Detector Goes Off?

If your alarm does go off, turn your furnace off immediately (and any other possible sources of carbon monoxide such as gas ovens, gas dryers, gasoline or diesel powered generators, car or lawnmower engines, etc.) and get all people and animals out of the home or office at once. Once the home or office has been thoroughly aired out and ventilated, you should be able to return safely. However, do not use your gas furnace, or other equipment that may be a source of carbon monoxide, until you have it checked out by a qualified technician.

If my CO Detector Goes Off, Is My Gas Furnace to Blame?

Not necessarily. Other gas appliances – ranges, fireplaces – and gas lines to the home can also emit Carbon Monoxide and should therefore also be inspected. We can look at your furnace and determine whether or not it is the source of the leak. If your furnace is what tripped your CO detector, we can repair it so that you have no further concerns. Not every instance of a CO leak is cause for an entire system upgrade. However, if your system is of a certain age, has other restraints, gets repaired often, etc. and also springs a leak, we may consult with you on the best time for a system replacement. Each situation is unique and therefore requires the eyes and the expertise of a professional.

Call McCullough Heating & Air Conditioning so that a service technician can check your furnace: (512) 866-9821

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