It is flue season once again, so here are some home owner tips designed to keep your family safe during the season. Of course, we are not talking about the kind of flu that chicken noodle soup can cure; rather, the type that regular maintenance can keep healthy. Not only are flues important for venting your home, but they also prevent your family from suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. A poorly vented furnace can result in carbon monoxide remaining in your home, and this can be deadly.
Removal of Harmful Gases
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas created when fuel—including wood, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, and oil—is burned. When a furnace is not properly vented, carbon monoxide can build up inside the home, poisoning the occupants. CO poisoning symptoms are very similar to—well, you guessed it—the flu, and include headache, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting in the early stages. CO poisoning can lead to loss of consciousness, coma, cardiac arrest and respiratory failure if left untreated. Therefore, having your flues and furnaces checked before each heating season is an important home owner tip.
With the many hailstorms that have hit our area over the past few months, many homeowners replaced their roof due to damage from hail. Unfortunately, roofers often fail to reconnect vents and flues after replacing the roof. In some cases, the vents and flues were routed improperly. Both instances create an unsafe condition, so another home owner tip is to have your flues and vents checked by a reputable HVAC company after a roof repair, just to be sure everything is working properly. Don’t blame the roofer for neglecting to reconnect your vent – he doesn’t want to be an HVAC repairman any more than we want to be roofers.
Damage over Time
For those who have not had a roof replacement, there are still reasons to have your flues and vents checked. It is not common for a homeowner to wander around on the roof, looking at the flues and vents on a regular basis, so it is very easy for damage to be missed. One home owner tip is to make a visual inspection from the ground of the flues and vents on you roof. Look for rust on metal vents, condensation, weeping from the joints or stains on the roof around the flue. These could be an indication of damage to the vents or flues that require the attention of a qualified HVAC technician.