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Check Your Furnace Flue Each Heating Season

Posted on: November 17, 2016

As we enter the heating season in the Chicagoland area gas furnaces are being fired up to provide heat through the winter. One of often overlooked areas of home heating system maintenance is the furnace flue, or exhaust vent.

When a gas or oil furnace is operating it creates byproducts like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide. If these gases are not allow to escape out of the house, they can cause very unhealthy indoor air, and in the case of carbon monoxide, can even be fatal.

There are two reasons combustion gases may not be drafting out of the home through the flue: backdraft or blockage. Backdraft can happen when the furnace is not properly ventilated – meaning it is not getting enough air required for combustion. When a furnace doesn’t get enough oxygen from the air, it will draw air back down from the flue, preventing exhaust gases from escaping.

What are the signs that a furnace is not ventilating properly?

Because exhaust fumes are moist, one common sign of exhaust venting indoors is condensation on windows. In addition, when the moist fumes backdraft the metal front of the furnace may show signs of corrosion. In some cases you may also notice a sour smell in the home.

If you suspect there is a ventilation a problem, have the furnace serviced as soon as possible. An HVAC technician can diagnose any potential problems quickly and perform any necessary repairs to keep the furnace operating safely.

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  • “Have never had such an excellent technician to evaluate our furnace problem. If he hadn't been so thorough, it possibly could have resulted in a carbon monoxide disaster. A true professional!”

  • “After a long day on a Friday (first snow of the year - lots of customers without heat), Dion L came to perform routine furnace inspection and filter change. Dion was courteous, efficient, informed us of all that he was doing, showed us an area of concern and how we…”

  • “Ron S., fixed an electrical short in the attic, which prevented a fire. He rewired the attic thru the bedroom ceiling light. He replaced an outside electrical connection, and repaired my ceiling fan. The attic wiring was very crazy. He did an outstanding job figuring it out and fixing the…”

  • “I called other before I call ABC and was giving long wait and schedule time to come out and check the heating system. So I received a message on the web about ABC Plumbing and Heating. So I called the company right away and they said what time would you…”

  • “I am so impressed with Chris and ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling. His friendliness honest approach to his Job is remarkable. Thanks Chris for making my day and believing that they are still great honorable people out there.”

  • “Paul B. serviced my furnace yesterday with an inspection and cleaning. He didn't stop there though, I had purchased a new filter for my humidifier on the furnace and he replaced that for me, showed me how to do it in the future and explained how to adjust the humidity…”

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