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Old 11-12-2010, 05:23 PM   #1
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Fumes from High Efficiency Gas Furnace


We have had this furnace for about 4 years. Every time the cool weather comes and we turn the furnace, one of us can smell what is described as exhaust fumes. I do not notice it as much. However, it is strong enough for the other person living here to feel nauseated and to get cranky. We have had the Sears repair man here to see what is wrong. He can find nothing -- says, some people are more sensitive than others. This is not good as we are both soon going to be retired and will be in the house more.

Any suggestions from anyone?
Last edited by Sandra L; Today at 10:20 PM. Reason: add a tag

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Old 11-12-2010, 06:04 PM   #2
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Fumes from High Efficiency Gas Furnace


Look in the yellow pages, or check on line. For a NCI certified company. they will know how to check for CO.
If one of you is getting nauseated. Your CO level is too high.

How did the Sears guy check the furnace? Did he use a combustion analyzer, or just turn it on and look at the flames.

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Old 11-12-2010, 06:48 PM   #3
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Fumes from High Efficiency Gas Furnace


Thanks for your response, beenthere. We have a CO monitor and is doesn't register any problem. I don't know how he checked the furnace. I will have to ask. Thanks for the guidance
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:56 PM   #4
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Fumes from High Efficiency Gas Furnace


Call the gas utility or fire dept and CAREFULLY explain the situation to them. Once again CAREFULLY so they don't send a fire truck/first responders etc. They may have a CO tester and can come down for free and check your house WHEN the other people notice the smell. They do it free where I am. CO detectors from big box stores etc are not nearly as accurate as the ones they have. Our utility co can check down to 1PPM ACCURATELY and CONSISTENTLY. The household type can be inaccurate as they are not built to the same tolerances and tested annually. They are meant for collapsed chimneys and other catastrophic failures, not to give advice on when to replace furnaces etc.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:07 PM   #5
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Fumes from High Efficiency Gas Furnace


Depending how old your CO monitor is. It may not work anymore. Also. most need to high of a level to help prevent low level poisoning.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:18 PM   #6
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If they don't find any problems get a licensed experienced plumber to check the plumbing vent stack and drains for gas leaks. A lot of the time I get sewer gas smell complaints mistaken for natural gas smells. Had one behind a kitchen sink where the drain was rotten. When the furnace starts it may move air around/depressurize the house and then you can get sewer gas smells if the floor drains are dry etc etc. Some parts of the US and Canada also have Radon gas problems, google that for more info.
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:32 PM   #7
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how are the PCV vent lines routed outside? Is it a concentric vent or are there two PVC pipes (one for fresh air intake and another for exhaust)? If there are two pipes, then it is possible that you are recirculating the exhaust into the fresh air intake.
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Old 11-14-2010, 01:34 PM   #8
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Call your local gas utility to report possible carbon monoxide situation. You'll get instant, free, thorough CO investigation 24/7. They're equipment is top of the line and personnel should be well trained with a checklist. Be sure to check for faulty or plugged flue or inoperative powervent if equipped. Also lack of combustion air or backdrafting among other causes...I recommend a CO detector (50bucks) for added POM
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Old 11-14-2010, 02:36 PM   #9
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Fumes from High Efficiency Gas Furnace


Does this occur throughout the heating season, or only the first few hours the furnace is run each fall?

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