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Date Published:

June 28, 2016


Soot in a Furnace: Is It Normal or a Telltale Sign of a Big Problem?

Soot in a furnace can be considered a normal issue. However, there are times when such incidences may indicate a larger (and potentially dangerous) problem. Let us take a look at when this is the case and how a professional Edmonton furnace service firm such as Capital Plumbing & Heating will be able to help.

Carbon Monoxide

The first issue to note is that the presence of a large amount of soot could indicate that carbon monoxide is in the air. The main reason for this observation is that carbon monoxide is a natural result of combustion. A large amount of soot may indicate that the furnace is not functioning as efficiently as it should.

Result of dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide in the air, carbon monoxide is a deadly gas, and should you suspect that this is the case, contact an Edmonton furnace service provider at once.

The Potential Effects of Soot

We should now mention that it is quite normal for moderately small amounts of soot to be present; especially in older models. This is a natural build-up of particles over time. Still, this substance can cause problems within the unit itself. It may block pilot lights and similar parts which are required to function.

Another important fact to note here is that high levels of soot can reduce the heating capacity of the furnace. This is caused by reduced levels of heat transfer. In other words, it will take more power to heat the air. This can lead to higher energy bills. One tell-tale sign that soot could be present is if the owner observes incrementally higher charges on a month-by-month basis.

When Should the Furnace be Serviced?

Most companies that provide furnace repair in Edmonton advise that the unit should be cleaned if more than one millimeter of soot is present within the flue or around the immediate surroundings. This is a problem that will not go away on its own and proper maintenance is crucial to help increase the efficiency of the furnace.

Proactive methods will likewise extend its lifespan. Whether referring to an emergency situation or a normal cleaning requirement, soot should always be addressed promptly.


While some soot in a furnace is normal, excessive amounts can indicate potential dangers such as elevated carbon monoxide levels. Seeking professional help from an Edmonton furnace or other HVAC services like Capital Plumbing & Heating is crucial. Even smaller amounts of soot, common in older models, can impact efficiency and lead to higher energy bills. Regular maintenance is advised, especially if soot levels exceed one millimeter, to ensure optimal furnace performance and longevity.


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Capital Plumbing and Heating was founded in 2001 in Edmonton, Alberta, and our main office is still located there. We proudly serve Edmonton and surrounding areas as emergency plumbing service providers in Edmonton.

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