BC residents warned about dangerous older Carrier furnaces

Check your furnace

If you have an older Carrier Gas furnace installed in your home, you could be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Technical Safety BC says an investigation has discovered a design flaw in the popular furnaces that has resulted in eight people being hospitalized for CO exposure in recent years.

The furnaces with the flaw were produced by the company between 1989 and 2011.

“Carbon monoxide exposure can be deadly, which is why we recommend owners of Carrier furnaces immediately install a CO detector and contact a licensed contractor to inspect their unit,” said Eric Lalli, Leader, incident investigation. “These furnaces have the potential to release elevated levels of CO for some time before being detected, and British Columbians may not be aware of the potential hazard present in their homes.”

Despite the manufacturer ending production of these furnaces in 2011, many furnaces remain in operation throughout the province. Carbon monoxide poses a serious risk, and contractors and homeowners should be made aware. Serious illness, severe side effects, or death may be a result of exposure to carbon monoxide.

Carrier Gas Furnaces made between 1989 and 2011 may require updates or repairs. British Columbians who have them installed in their homes should speak to a licensed gas contractor to look for potential safety hazards.

Technical Safety BC's investigation revealed the furnaces had a common design feature that contributed to the failures, specifically, polypropylene lined secondary heat exchangers. This part was found to be susceptible to corrosion, which interfered with combustion air flow, which in some cases produced CO.

Carbon monoxide was spotted in living spaces, after it escaped the furnaces due to corrosion holes in the heat exchangers or a corrosion blockage that allowed CO to circulate back into the home. It was also determined that built-in automatic safety devices did not properly detect the conditions produced by the corroded secondary heat exchangers.

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