How do you keep your home safe during an episode of heavy snow fall? Well, , the simple act of removing ice and snow from outside your home can be massively significant in regards to safety. Safety experts are always stressing that it is imperative to remove ice and snow buildup from your furnace exhaust vents.
Why you Should Be Careful?
Many homes utilize the heating capabilities of natural gas, and the more modern furnaces are direct vent. This means that they are no longer venting up a chimney that goes through the roof. Instead, they are actually vented through the sides of your home in a small vent.
If they are blocked, it creates a huge problem. This is because it will prevent the gas-fired appliance from operating properly and this will lead to the build-up of carbon monoxide. The actual combustion process will also start to seep into your home, causing the carbon monoxide concentration to get dangerously high inside the house.
This is also why it is critical for you to have carbon monoxide detectors otherwise the actual combustion process will start to seep into your homes without you realizing it. However, combustion gas does not have to be harmful; but instead, it is often the incomplete combustion that becomes problematic.
Carbon monoxide begins to form due to a bad gas burn. This in other words refers to incomplete combustion. Clean burning flame is typically blue in color, and this color shows evidence of extreme heat. This indicates that the flame is getting plenty of oxygen for consumption, and when things go wrong with the mixture, you can get the malfunction in the beginning.
This is what HVAC techs refer to as a rollout. When the blue flame starts to change into orange, it shows that the flame is suffocating inside the burn chambers. Other combustion gasses also simultaneously build up in the tubes of the heat exchanger. By doing so, the oxygen supply becomes completely eliminated.
The flame needs oxygen for combustion, and it will swells like a balloon to back itself out of the burn chamber in search of oxygen. This is why technicians will call this a roll out, and this phenomenon will be detrimental on many levels. The first is that the areas beyond the burn chamber are not meant to hold the flame.
Components can get scorched and stop working properly. This is why most modern furnaces that you will come across today will be equipped with roll-out sensors. This refers to little nodes that can detect excessive heat buildup. If flame heat gets too intense outside the burn chamber, the entire unit will shut itself down.
As you can see, there are many faults inside the furnace that can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. However, the biggest cause is snow and ice blockage on the sidewall pipe. You have to make sure that that you take all the measures to prevent potential disasters.