Although the amount is higher during the winter, common combustion pollutants can lurk in your home at any time of the year. Anything that burns can leave behind unhealthy gases if combustion isn’t complete. Of these gases, carbon monoxide (CO) is the deadliest, but others can adversely affect your health over time. Here are some common combustion pollutants to look out for in your Fresno home:
- Vehicle exhaust. Using an attached garage to store fuel-powered yard equipment and vehicles can bring combustion gases into your home year-round. In this case, you can be exposed to CO, nitrogen dioxide, benzene and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can damage your health.
- Appliances. Any gas appliance can cause indoor air pollution if not maintained. Make sure to look out for yellow flames, as well as vent and flue cracks.
- Furnaces. Neglecting annual professional maintenance for your gas furnace can lead to an accumulation of indoor air pollutants, like deadly CO, nitrogen dioxide and excessive water vapor. Of all combustion sources, a neglected gas furnace has the most potential to pose major health hazards during the heating season.
- Leaking ductwork. Even if you use a heat pump year-round, leaks in your ductwork can backdraft CO into your home if you have any vented gas appliances. This change in air pressure can pull CO and other gases indoors via flues, chimneys and vents.
- Fireplaces. Wood-burning fireplaces that exhaust through a dirty or cracked chimney can emit CO indoors.
- Unvented combustion heaters. The sale of vent-free combustion heaters was prohibited in 1996 in California, but if you have a grandfathered unit, be aware that it can spew excessive water vapor, nitrogen and carbon dioxide into your air.
Maintenance is key to preventing problems with your gas furnace. Having an HVAC professional inspect, clean and adjust it annually can boost energy efficiency and safety. Additionally, sealing ductwork can save energy dollars and prevent backdrafting. You should also have other gas appliances cleaned and adjusted by an appliance professional every now and then.
The pros at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning can reduce combustion pollutants in your home. We’ve been providing top-notch HVAC services for Fresno area homeowners for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about pollutants and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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