Your furnace or boiler burns fossil fuels, like natural gas or propane, to heat your home. One of the byproducts of burning fossil fuels is carbon monoxide. In a home with heating equipment that was properly installed and operating, this carbon monoxide is contained inside the heat exchange and safely removed from the house through the venting system.
If there is a crack in the heat exchanger or the venting system has a leak or a blockage, the carbon monoxide can leak into the living space of a home, rather than vent to the atmosphere.
A carbon monoxide exposure can leave individuals feeling flu like symptoms. While these symptoms are annoying, they are the first warning signs of a much more serious problem. If not addressed, CO leaks can result in carbon monoxide poisoning. This poisoning renders someone unconscious, and can even kill them if they are exposed to CO for a long enough period of time.
An annual safety inspection of your heating equipment is recommended by all equipment manufactures to ensure your home is safe from carbon monoxide and natural gas leaks. An accurate and detailed inspection of your heating system will identify both immediate safety needs and other safety issues before they become life threatening issues.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment accounts for 15% of all reported home fires and accidents. And over 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning every year. As a contractor it is important to understand the recommended guidelines put out by the State of Minnesota. Carbon monoxide leaks are serious dangers that could occur without proper education on heating safety, correct guidelines and proper heating equipment maintenance.
As a contractor, thorough heating equipment maintenance and proper installation is a top priority for the safety of homeowners. Industry standards are set to ensure proper procedures are followed without missing necessary steps.
As a homeowner, understanding the important heating safety guidelines for furnaces and boilers is critical. Education and awareness about proper guidelines allow you to make informed decisions about the inspection and installation of your heating equipment, no matter the contractor.
Carbon monoxide is a dangerous, toxic, colorless and odorless gas. It is nearly impossible to detect without proper carbon monoxide detectors within the home. Furnaces and boilers are often a source of this dangerous chemical, underlining the importance of proper safety.
Homeowners often hear myths involving carbon monoxide and heating system safety they do not need to believe including these:
These statements are not true and will place families in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning from their heating equipment. It is important to understand the proper boiler and furnace safety guidelines to navigate these concerns.
As a homeowner, if your furnace or boiler has been turned off, there are important steps to take. A defective or broken furnace or boiler does not have to stop you from protecting your home or keeping your family warm during the winter months. You have options, and you can have a second opinion.
Contractors can be liable for accidents that occur after inaccurate heating system inspections and installations. Several court cases have been resolved, finding the contractor at fault. Contractors should follow proper safety guidelines and procedures to ensure proper maintenance and installation of all heating systems.