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Check Your Furnace Flue Each Heating Season

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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  • “We were very pleased with the service performed by Brett Pack in performing the annual maintenance of our air conditioning unit. He noted it was low on refrigerant, which he then added after consulting with us. He also made sure we took advantage of all available discounts.”

  • “Tom did a super job fixing our electrical problem. He is one of the best electricians I have ever had in my home for repair work. I would highly recommend Tom and ABC Company if you need any type of electrical work. He took his time and explained everything and…”

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  • “Our AC was not working in the 90-degree summer heat. Josh identified that power was not going to the furnace blower. He identified that power was not going to the furnace breaker. His keen eye spotted that the wire leading into the breaker had frayed. He cut out the frayed…”

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