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A furnace that is not running at peak performance can be deadly. Carbon monoxide is a natural product of incomplete combustion. Virtually every gas furnace produces some carbon monoxide, which is usually carried away from your home through the venting of the furnace.
A clean, efficient burning gas furnace will produce a very small amount of carbon monoxide, while a dirty, inefficiently burning one can produce deadly amounts.
Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless. It causes flu-like symptoms, disorientation, confusion and death. It is highly recommended that you have your furnace cleaned and checked every year. The older the furnace, the more important this service is. A newer gas furnace is equipped with many features that shut the furnace off when a problem is detected.
Over time a furnace can develop small cracks in the combustion chamber. These cracks may not be visible to the naked eye. It is through these cracks that carbon monoxide can leak into your home. It is also important to change your furnace filter regularly. A clean filter will help your furnace burn more efficiently and will help keep dust from being circulated through your home. Keep the area around your furnace free and clear of all objects.