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(618) 345-7498 | Serving Metro East Illinois

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

This fall and winter, we will continue to use our furnaces continually to keep our homes warm and comfortable, protecting from the outdoor elements as temperatures begin to dip. But what if the confides of our safe and happy home aren’t as secure as we’d like to think? Cold weather also brings stories about carbon monoxide poisoning due to malfunctioning furnaces and other appliances in the home. As the temperature dips, it may be time to call Viviano HVAC. 

So, what exactly does a furnace do? We know it creates the warm air in your home. A gas furnace, for example, ignites a burner and the flames from that burner heat up the heat exchanger which transfers the heat into the air in your home, keeping it warm and cozy. Carbon monoxide is produced from the burning of the natural gasses or propane. If your furnace is older or malfunctioning, higher rates of carbon monoxide gases may leak into your home at lethal levels. Making sure your furnace is operating at safe levels is easy by installing carbon monoxide monitors in the home as well as having your furnace checked annually.

Viviano recommends having your furnace inspected annually and the fall is the perfect time to make sure everything is running efficiently. Don’t wait until it gets too cold to turn on your furnace! It may make sense to replace older parts to save money but depending on the age and repair costs of your existing furnace, a newer, more energy-efficient model may be best in the long-term. Today’s HVAC equipment just keeps getting better, saving you money in the long run with lower utility bills.

When placing CO monitors in your home, placement by the furnace is not the ideal option. It’s best to keep the CO monitors closer to the ductwork in your home because if high levels of carbon monoxide are emitted, it will seep through the vents. Signs of a CO issue with a furnace may be made evident in the following ways:

  • Yellow burner flame instead of a blue one.
  • Dripping, heavy condensation where the furnace is located.
  • The smell of unusual gases in your house. Although CO is odorless, when in contact with exhaust gases it does create an odor.
  • Stale/stuffy air accompanied by a burning smell.

It’s important to mention that furnaces are not the only appliances guilty of causing CO illness or death. Cars, portable heaters and generators can also emit high levels of CO into the home. Never idle a car in a closed garage or use a gas generator in a closed space. Other sources of carbon monoxide include gas ovens, lawn equipment, fireplaces, grills and even indoor pools.

It’s easy to ensure your home will not only stay cozy this winter, but safe from carbon monoxide poisoning, too! Give Viviano Heating and Air Conditioning a call at (618) 345-7498. We also offer a maintenance program that keeps your HVAC service schedule on track. Want to learn more? Visit our website at