Gas-fired appliances, such as furnaces and water heaters, utilize combustion to deliver heat. When these appliances do their job, a potentially dangerous by-product is produced: carbon monoxide. To combat the accumulation of harmful carbon monoxide in a home, these appliances are often built with a ventilation system that sends the carbon monoxide outside through a flue. When this ventilation system breaks down, back-drafting occurs.

What is back drafting?

Backdrafting is when combustion gases get sucked back into the house. This can happen for a lot of reasons including low indoor air pressure and certain systems—such as exhaust fans, dryers, and fireplaces—that pull air in. If back-drafting is not addressed, it can cause a lot of health and respiratory problems, possibly even death.

What can you do about back-drafting?

It is recommended that you obtain the service of a knowledgeable Stony Plain and Edmonton heating professional who can inspect your ventilation system and find any kind of blockages in it, as well as identify any home fixture that’s pulling carbon monoxide in. Such a professional may then recommend the best ways to fix your problem and improve your home’s indoor air quality.

What about carbon monoxide detectors?

A carbon monoxide detector is designed to detect carbon monoxide, but not prevent back-drafting. To enhance your detector’s effectiveness, read its manual properly and follow its instructions on when to change the batteries or replace the unit. Learn what the different alarm sounds mean and know where to best install it so that it can detect carbon monoxide at the earliest possible signs.

How to prevent back-drafting

You can complement your carbon monoxide detectors with these back-drafting prevention tips:

  • Make sure your furnace or water heater is properly installed.
  • Provide your furnace or water heater with proper ventilation.
  • Ensure your flue system is devoid of leaks.
  • Confirm that your house fans are not causing carbon monoxide buildup in your home.

Good Edmonton and Stony Plain heating professionals—such as those at Capital Plumbing and Heating Ltd.—can implement these back-drafting preventative steps for you. If you’re worried that back-drafting may already be occurring in your home, contact these professionals immediately.