Is a Broken Furnace Damaging the Air Quality in Your Home?

Is a Broken Furnace Damaging the Air Quality in Your Home?

In Eastern Massachusetts, your furnace may run continuously from early October right through to April. And while it’s working, you may not realize that your furnace is also directly impacting the air quality in your home. In many cases, the air feels warm and comfortable, and you don’t realize that the furnace is also pushing debris and, in some cases, fumes into your home’s air as well.

Air Quality and Your Furnace

Most quality modern furnaces and air conditioners operate reasonably clean. That means they don’t put a lot of chemicals or fumes into the air when heating or cooling. However, to protect your air quality, you need to keep your furnace and cooling system in good working condition. If you are worried about the air quality in your home, contact 128 Plumbing for comprehensive air quality screening and repair services.

When you have a broken or leaking furnace, the air in your home can become contaminated with a wide range of particles. The most significant risks to air quality come from the presence of carbon monoxide and methane. Both of these components are odorless and invisible in the air, and they can seep into the air due to the tiniest of cracks in your furnace. When these gases are present in the air, they are very dangerous for you and your family to breathe. The air quality can even reach deadly levels.

How Does Carbon Monoxide Get Into the Air?

The furnace heating systems in this area of Boston work hard almost year-round to warm the air. They take in air through wall vents, put it through a heating exchange, warm the air, and then push it back into the living spaces through the air ducts. In turn, any dangerous gases are vented outside the home through the flue.

Proper venting of the furnace and cooling system ensures no dangerous gases get into the air of the home itself. However, if there is a break in the flue or a blockage in the vents, gases can back up and leak into the air in your home, creating poor air quality.

How to Tell If Gases Are Affecting Your Air Quality

The quality of the air in your home is very much impacted by the function of the furnace and cooling system, and routine furnace maintenance is the first step in preventing the accumulation of dangerous gases in your home and protecting your home’s air quality.

In some cases, you can smell differences in the air when you turn your furnace or cooling system on. If this smell does not dissipate in moments, your furnace could be burning a chemical or electrical component that can create poor air quality. This is an indication that you need to get the air quality checked and the furnace repaired.

In addition, most natural gas suppliers add a chemical to their product that creates a rotten egg smell. Otherwise, natural gas in the air is odorless. Thanks to this recognizable smell, homeowners can quickly become aware when their home’s air quality is compromised through a gas leak.

A gas leak is always an emergency situation. Leave home and call the fire department to check for the presence of gas in your air. If your furnace is malfunctioning, call the experts at 128 Plumbing and don’t return until the situation is resolved and the air quality is improved.

Other than an odor in the air or an air quality test of your heating and cooling system there are other signs you should be aware of that indicate your furnace may not be working correctly.

  • The people in the house feel ill when the air from the furnace is blowing.
  • You wake up tired and sick in the mornings – which could be a sign of carbon monoxide in the air.
  • You feel as though you may pass out — again, a sign of poor air quality.

If any of these symptoms occur, don’t remain in the house for long. Instead, call for an air quality inspection and, if necessary, a furnace repair from 128 Plumbing.

How Your Air Filter Impacts Your Air Quality

There are other risks to the quality of your air from a poorly maintained furnace. For example, the air quality can be impacted by a clogged air filter in the furnace. In this case, you may notice dust and dander in the air around your home. While this may not seem like a critical air quality problem, it impacts the air quality in several ways.

Allergens can lessen the air quality of your home. If your furnace is not working at peak efficiency or your air filters are clogged, allergens may be dispersed throughout your home as the warmed air is pumped from the furnace through the home’s air ducts. For those who have allergies, this poor air quality can impact their ability to breathe easy and to feel comfortable.

The air can also have mold spores in it, reducing its quality. If there is mold in any area of your home, those spores can be easily picked up by your furnace or your cooling system and pushed through the furnace and into the air ducts. This allows the mold spores to infiltrate the air throughout the home, reducing air quality. This poor air quality can also impact the quality of a person’s health. Your home’s air cooling and furnace ducts need to be properly cleaned by our furnace team at 128 Plumbing in this case.

The air quality in your home can also be impacted by bacteria and viruses. As with other HVAC components, furnaces can quickly spread these contaminants throughout the home. Replacing dirty furnace filters and investing in air quality improvement devices such as air cleaners and UV lights can significantly enhance your home’s air quality.

Other Types of Furnaces and Their Impact on Air Quality

In addition to the traditional furnaces found in most Eastern Boston homes and described above, other types of heating and cooling systems also play a role in the quality of the air you breathe. Boilers and heat pumps may operate a bit differently than furnaces, but they also can leak gases into the home’s air, creating a dangerous air quality situation. The technicians at 128 Plumbing are familiar with all types HVAC heating systems and can check air quality regardless of your unit.

Ensure Clean Air With Regular Furnace Maintenance

To minimize the risks to your air quality and to the furnace itself, you need to focus on several steps. First, ensure the furnace receives proper maintenance according to the furnace manufacturer’s recommendations. This includes a quality annual inspection of the furnace itself. Our team will also inspect your cooling system while doing an air quality check and furnace inspection if you like.

The quality of your air is also dependent on the furnace and cooling system’s air filtration system. To improve the air quality, remove and clean or replace the furnace filter at the manufacturer’s specified intervals. You should notice air quality improvement almost immediately. If you observe a drop in quality, be sure to call for a furnace inspection and an air quality test to determine the problem.

Improve Air Quality With 128 Plumbing

Providing you with the highest quality of furnace and cooling system repair and maintenance, you can depend on 128 Plumbing. Our services are designed to solve any air quality problem and help extend the life of your heating and cooling system. Contact us for an air quality inspection and test today.