HVAC experts noticing potentially deadly carbon monoxide leaks :: WRAL.com

With more of us starting to turn the heat on for the first time this season, heating and air experts want you to be thinking about carbon monoxide leaks.

Before you turn on your heater on, you may want to call an expert first.

“It’s extremely deadly. Folks don’t know what’s happening.. As it accumulates, in the home, you get a headache but, you don’t really associate it to anything,” said JD Anderson owner of 919 Fix My AC

He’s been getting between 5-8 calls a week for heating checks – and crews are finding too many leaks that otherwise would have gone unnoticed.

Long-time client Ron Lynch called Anderson before turning on his heat – and found out his family had a close call.

“He sent a guy and found out that we had a carbon monoxide leak,” Lynch said.

Because carbon monoxide is odorless the leak would have gone unnoticed.

“It spooked me a bit and definitely my wife,” said Lynch. “We were okay with them shutting it off. We didn’t want to have any issues with the kids most importantly.”

Carbon monoxide leaks come from heat exchangers that rust over time – which is especially a risk in homes with furnaces older than 7 years.

“Over time they get rust spots, and when those rust spots eat through the metal as the air blows across the heat exchanger, it releases carbon monoxide through the holes,” said Anderson.

So how do you protect yourself and your family?

Digital carbon monoxide detectors are the best form of prevention, according to Anderson.

“I strongly recommend you put one in the hallway, and also in each bedroom – because when you close the door when you sleep, gas can accumulate inside the room,” he said.

The cost to repair or replace a furnace with a leak can be anywhere between $2,500 to $4,000.

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