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Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog

What Can Happen If Your Furnace Isn’t Venting Properly

Attic ventilation for furnace exhaust.

Your furnace works hard throughout the year to keep your family warm. All that wear and tear begins to weigh on it, which leads to repairs every so often. However, there are some repairs that really can’t wait, and ventilation is at the top of that list.

All furnace repair needs should be taken care of as soon as possible to prevent a number of problems. Let’s talk about why ventilation is important and what it could mean for your family’s safety.

Heat Exchanger Corrosion

While the air itself won’t corrode your heat exchanger, improper ventilation can lead to moisture buildup. Condensation can make its way to your heat exchanger, and we all know how water and metal don’t mix.

Heat exchangers can leak carbon monoxide into your home due to corrosion. Corrosion damage isn’t always on the nose: it can appear in the form of small cracks that are easily missed by the human eye, but toxic gasses can still escape through them.

If any moisture buildup exists in your furnace vents, corrosion is either already occurring or will occur soon if it isn’t serviced to by a professional. Depending on the level of damage, you may need an entirely new heat exchanger to keep your family safe on top of ventilation work.

Risk of FIre

Vent blockages rarely catch fire. We’re not quite as worried about a bird’s nest burning up at the end of your vents as much as we’re concerned about the furnace itself. Your furnace has bearings that will lose lubrication over time, and those can catch fire. Vent blocks and clogged furnace air filters can also cause heat to build up and cause a fire.

While there can be other causes of fire in your furnace, such as faulty or aged wiring, furnace ventilation blocks are completely preventable. They’re a result of improper maintenance, not a sign of wear and tear.

Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Carbon monoxide is a silent gas that kills. This can be pulled into your home even if your heat exchanger is functioning perfectly. This is called backdraft: when negative air pressure or obstructions in your vents lead exhaust to come back into the home instead of vent outside.

Exposure can be avoided by maintaining your heat exchanger and performing annual maintenance to prevent blocks from clogging your furnace. It’s not uncommon for birds to try and nest at the outer point of your vents, or for rodents to seek refuge in your vents during the winter to avoid the cold. Clogs or slight blockages can happen at any point.

Your Vents Can’t Wait

Improper ventilation isn’t one of those problems that you can put off until the last minute. Certain issues with ventilation can lead to fatalities if not handled with due diligence. Your heater works hard for you throughout the year. Now it’s time to return the favor with a much-needed repair visit.

Contact us today to inspect, diagnose, and repair your furnace today. Don’t put your safety at risk.

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