Having a gas furnace can become a fire hazard if you are not careful about how much dirt is allowed to accumulate around it and the amount of oxygen in the air. A lack of oxygen and dirt can lead the flame of the pilot to experience incomplete combustion, which is dangerous because it can cause carbon monoxide to get inside of your home. Below, you will find out how a gas furnace works to complete combustion and what you can do to keep it clean.
How Does a Gas Furnace Work to Complete Combustion?
The gas of your furnace is necessary for heating your home. The gas is turned into heat when complete combustion occurs, which is when the hydrocarbons in the flame of the pilot are transformed into water and carbon dioxide. The heat is then sent into the ventilation system to warm up the house.
If there is not a sufficient level of oxygen in the air for complete combustion to occur, incomplete combustion will happen instead and release carbon monoxide. Dirt on the pilot can also lead to incomplete combustion. It is important for you to have a combustion chamber that is in good shape to ventilate carbon monoxide out of your home in case incomplete combustion occurs.
What Can be Done to Keep a Furnace Clean?
You can keep your furnace clean by wiping it down with a damp cloth with only warm water on it. Don't use any detergents because they may contain chemicals that can react with the pilot flame and spark a fire. You can also clean around the furnace with vacuum cleaner attachments to remove dust and dirt.
The most important thing you can do to keep the furnace clean to prevent incomplete combustion is hire a heating specialist to inspect and clean the combustion chamber. He or she can see if there are any cracks in the chamber as well that should be repaired.
If you ever feel dizzy or suddenly start experiencing headaches that doesn't seem to go away, you may be inhaling carbon monoxide. It is in your best interest to seek prompt medical attention and hire a heating specialist to inspect your gas furnace to see if it is causing the problem. Be sure to keep the area around your furnace clean and well ventilated to prevent the flame of the pilot from not being able to complete combustion!