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Furnace Flue Blockage and What to Do

During winter, a furnace is crucial for burning oil or gas to keep your West Windsor, NJ, home warm and cozy. Your furnace flue is equally essential for safely venting dangerous gases such as sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide. The following is a breakdown of the dangers caused by blockages, how your furnace flue could become blocked and what to do.

What Causes Furnace Blockages?

Furnace flue pipes may clog due to ash or masonry debris or small animals, including birds. If one or several of these things enters the chimney, it prevents gases from escaping. Some of the things that end up causing flue blockages to include the following:

  • Damages on the chimney: The flue pipes run through the chimney or get connected to a chimney liner. They could experience blockage from broken bricks or tiles or other masonry debris.

  • Pipes corrosion: Flue pipes may experience a blockage due to leaks created by acidic compounds and moisture found in the combustion gases.

  • Missing cup: The point where the flue pipe passes the roof should have a cap. If it is missing, animals such as birds could fall into the flue and cause blocks.

  • Damages to the pipe: Improper installation and accidents could cause damage to your flue pipe, blocking air from passing.

  • Lack of proper airflow: Insufficient airflow to your furnaces causes backdraft. Backdraft may result from an improperly balanced heating system or the presence of a powerful exhaust fan, which causes imbalanced air pressure and draws the air back into the house.

Problems Caused by Flue Blockages

A furnace flue allows combustion gases to escape from the house. When the flue pipe gets blocked, it prevents the gases from escaping and they circulate in the house instead. Once the gases get released, they lower the indoor air quality.

Breathing gases such as carbon monoxide could lead to air poisoning and cause health complications or even fatalities. Health complications include headaches, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and loss of consciousness. To prevent such complications, contact a professional and have your flue cleaned and the furnace inspected.

Cleaning the Venting System

Furnace flue pipes need annual cleaning. If it doesn’t get cleaned, particles could build-up and reduce its efficiency. Get your venting system inspected and repaired by a qualified professional for the safety of you and your family.

For more information on furnace maintenance, contact R.A. Nichols Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. Our team will provide top-of-the-line furnace services, including installations.

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