It is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that can be toxic to humans and animals. Typical symptoms are headaches, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. The gas in question is carbon monoxide which can be brought into your home via your ductwork. The source is your furnace, if it has a defective heat exchanger.
Defective Heat Exchanger
Now that we are transitioning into the heating season, it is an ideal time to have your furnace inspected. When a furnace is running, all of the combustion gases pass through the heat exchanger before being vented out the flue. If the heat exchanger is defective (cracks or holes) then some of the toxic gases are passed into the supply ducts which deliver the air into your home. The severity of the cracks determines how much CO enters your home.
Levels of 35 parts per million can cause headaches and dizziness. During extreme weather conditions, your furnace’s heat exchanger is taxed to its limit. Constant metal expansion and contraction cause metal fatigue, which eventually leads to cracks in the heat exchanger.
To keep your family safe, install a professional grade CO detector and have your furnace inspected on an annual basis. The typical CO detector that home centers sell will alert you at around 70 parts per million. The professional grade unit that we install alerts you at 5 parts per million.