Heating system malfunctions can be a huge pain. Not only does it mean that you have to spend money on repairs, but it also means that you're left without heat when the weather is cold.
What many people don't know, however, is that heating system malfunctions can also be dangerous. This post highlights three ways that heating system issues can be a danger to you and your family's safety and well-being.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that malfunctioning heating systems can produce. For example, if the heat exchanger on a gas furnace has cracks, it can cause the furnace to emit dangerous levels of carbon monoxide into your home. The gas slowly infiltrates the living environment and can cause serious health issues, such as dizziness, headaches, nausea, confusion, and even death.
Another potential issue is if the flue pipe is blocked or improperly vented, which can also cause carbon monoxide to accumulate in your home. The accumulated gas can build up to unsafe levels, leading to the same health issues mentioned above.
Common symptoms of heat exchanger issues include a yellow pilot light, soot around the furnace, and a strong smell of gas. The pilot light should be burning blue, not yellow. So if you notice any of these symptoms, reach out to a professional heating system repair technician immediately.
Malfunctioning heating systems can also create a fire risk. For example, improper wiring or fuel supply problems can lead to an electrical overload and even cause the system to spark. Gas leaks, for instance, can also be a fire risk, as they can cause explosions and other combustion-related problems.
Additionally, inadequate cleaning and maintenance can cause the system to become clogged with dust, lint, and debris. When this happens, it creates a fire hazard that can spark and ignite the accumulated debris.
So, if you notice a distinctive gas smell or smoke when your heating system is in use, shut it off immediately and call for help. Any frayed wires along the system circuit should also be repaired to avoid a disaster.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
Malfunctioning heating systems can cause poor indoor air quality, which can be quite dangerous for people with asthma, allergies, and other respiratory conditions. When the system isn't operating properly, it won't be able to filter out allergens, dust particles, and other pollutants that can affect the air quality in your home.
Moreover, a malfunctioning system could cause insufficient ventilation and moisture buildup, which can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. This can further cause irritation to the respiratory system and exacerbate existing allergies.
So if you notice that the indoor air quality in your home has suddenly worsened, be sure to contact a technician as soon as possible. They may have to repair some vents or replace the air filter to get your system running properly again. Other times, the issue might be more serious, like a broken heat pump that allows contaminants to enter your home.