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Oxygen – Your Furnace’s Best Friend and Worst Enemy

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All humans are sure to pass out as soon as the oxygen in our blood runs out. The same can be expected of any furnace that requires a combustion process to produce heat. The same way we use oxygen to keep our energy levels high through metabolic processes, fire also requires oxygen to burn fuels and produce heat. Ask any company that has done a heating replacement Naperville demands, and they will tell you how important it is to keep furnaces breathing.

What is in the air?

After such a revelation, it is common to assume that the air we breathe is total oxygen when it contains way more gasses we don’t use than those we do. Nitrogen and carbon dioxide are the most abundant, yet a burning fuel-based furnace will not burn out if either is depleted. Oxygen comes in limited amounts, and its supply keeps getting shorter as a furnace works through the night. When it gets to critical levels, furnaces start producing carbon monoxide from the imperfect combustion that will take place in the quest to keep your home warm and comfortable. When this happens, everyone in the range of the heat is in danger of the various damages that come with inhaling carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide

Perhaps the most dangerous gasses produced during a furnace’s lifetime, along with waste gasses such as carbon dioxide. When inhaled, carbon monoxide tends to stick to the blood and limits the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry, effectively suffocating you. Yet, at the same time, you can still breathe. So for a furnace replacement Aurora, IL, they know to install a furnace such that natural airflow maintains the right amount of oxygen required to avoid the production of carbon monoxide.


As if the shortage of oxygen is the worst thing that could happen, its excess is also not ideal as that almost always leads to an explosion. Because it is highly flammable, it is seldom provided in pure form outside controlled environments (laboratories). The fact that it exists in limited (sufficient) amounts in the natural air is undoubtedly nature’s way of avoiding a fire turning everything into ashes.

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How to avoid Explosions?

It should be easy to avoid an explosion after the last fact discussion. Just because oxygen is needed for a furnace to provide heat doesn’t mean you should bring a canister of the gas towards the flame, not even of any other gas. Educating everyone with access to your furnace with the simple truth and scare that waits should be enough to deter any efforts that could result in an explosion.

Call (630) 859-8800 for a professional HVAC contractor in Naperville and Aurora and clear the way for your furnace to provide warmth for a decade more and to ensure that your furnace never turns into a mean bomb.