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NJ HVAC Air Quality

Most of the modern homes we live in have very tight seals around the windows and doors. This will help keep heating and cooling bills to a minimum, by eliminating leaks. Along with this positive benefit, tightly sealed homes also pose some potential problems. Without regular circulation and adequate ventilation, harmful and potentially fatal gas buildup can occur.

A Word About Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is an odorless gas that results from improper operation of furnaces, fuel-fired water heaters, fireplaces, and ranges. Very low levels of carbon monoxide exposure may cause flu-like symptoms, such as stuffy nose, headaches, or sinus problems. Increased exposure to carbon monoxide can prove deadly in very short time. It is strongly recommended – and required in most areas – that carbon monoxide detectors be present in the home. It is also advised that additional carbon monoxide filters be installed near the furnace, to ensure proper functioning.

Causes of Carbon Monoxide Buildup

If the heat exchanger in the furnace is cracked, carbon monoxide can leak from the furnace and build up quickly. Without a detector, carbon monoxide levels can reach deadly levels in very short time.

If the burners in the furnace become very dirty, or if an oil burning furnace is operating incorrectly, carbon monoxide can accumulate quickly.

When there is inadequate air supply to an appliance, the flame produced is considered “rich” – which basically means it is heavily concentrated with carbon monoxide. To ensure the proper function of the furnace, to help keep your heating bills to a minimum, and most importantly, for the sake of your health and your family’s health, it is critical to be sure that your furnace has got proper and adequate air supply. All newer furnaces should be installed in a space where there is ample air supply. A ventilation duct will supply sufficient air to enable proper combustion in your furnace or oil burner.

Some people will close off the door to the basement or room where the furnace exists. In older homes, it is likely that these rooms or basements do not have adequate ventilation. The furnace can then consume all of the available air in the space, which will create a low pressure condition. With low pressure in the surrounding room, the furnace will likely draw air IN from the exhaust pipe, which, in turn, pushes carbon monoxide out of the hood and into the house.

Joe Hurley Inc. is dedicated to your safety, and we encourage you to call an expert who specializes in home comfort, to evaluate the function of your furnace and other gas-powered appliances. To take the best step towards your family’s safety and health, please contact us.