Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/Are newer furnaces safer?


QUESTION: My furnace is only about 8 years old. I always am hearing so much about how dangerous gas furnaces can be because of the risk of carbon monoxide and stuff. Are newer furnaces generally built with more safety features that older ones?

ANSWER: Hi Jason,

Furnaces made now are safer than furnaces made say 20 years ago or more. Your's, at 8 years old, has all the safeties that are on new furnaces. You might have your heat exchanger inspected just to make sure you and your family are safe. The normal life span of a furnace is 15 to 20 years.

I hope this helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you. I do notice that the flames from the burners are light orange. Does this definitely mean carbon monoxide? Are there any other signs that a heat exchanger has a crack?


The orange flames tells me the burners need to be adjusted. This is not a safety issue, but it should be addressed. What you want is a blue flame. There is a adjustment on each burner. They can be opened or closed to increase or decrease the amount of air to the burner.

There is one thing you can check for a cracked heat exchanger. Take the cover off the burner section and have someone turn the stat up to start the furnace. First you should hear the combustion fan come on, then the ignitor will glow. Then the gas valve will open and the  burners should ignite. Watch the flames when the fan starts. If they start to "dance", that's an indication the HX is cracked. If in doubt call a Pro.

If you don't have a CO detector, you can get one at any of the big box stores.

Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC

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Jim S.


I can answer questions on gas or electric furnaces, ac units and heat pumps. I don't work on boilers,chillers,or home appliances.


I have been in the HVAC trade for over 35 years. For the past 15 years I have owned my own business. I am semi-retired so I can answer questions in a timely manner.

I attended trade school for 5 years on weekends and evenings. This was very hard to do, but well worth it!

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