If your home depends on an old gas furnace to heat it, you may start to worry that its advanced age is causing it to emit carbon monoxide gas into your house. Even if you do not have a carbon monoxide detector yet, you can still look for the following signs to confirm your suspicions until you are able to buy one.

1.  Household Members Experience Unexplainable Symptoms

Your household members experiencing unexplainable symptoms may have been one of the first things that caused you to suspect that there could be a problem with your gas furnace. This is especially true if you and your family are otherwise relatively healthy.

When carbon monoxide levels rise in your house, it accumulates rather quickly, causing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. At first, members of your family may start to complain of constant headaches or dizziness whenever they get up too fast.

As time passes, the levels will grow greater and start causing more severe symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. Especially if you have family members who already suffer from lung problems, they may start having difficulty breathing.

2.  Pilot Light Burns Yellow Instead of Blue

As soon as anyone starts reporting unusual symptoms, you can further your investigation of your gas furnace by looking at the color of the pilot light. When you examine it, the flame should burn a constant blue color.

However, if the flame has turned yellow, it may be burning too much gas. When it burns too much gas, the fire will give off high levels of carbon monoxide as a byproduct. When you see that the flame is yellow, look at the casing around the pilot light to see if there are any black streaks indicating deposits of carbon.

While one spot directly above the flame may have been left behind by a normal burning flame, a thick, wide coating of carbon is a byproduct of too much fuel burning. Part of the carbon from the pilot flame is left behind on the inside of the furnace, while the poisonous gas is released through the air vents.

If you have noticed the above signs and have purchased a detector to confirm your suspicions, it may be time to replace your old gas furnace that is releasing poisonous carbon monoxide into your home. Contact a contractor who provides HVAC installation services to discuss your options for replacing your old heater with a new model.