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Soot equal carbon monoxide?


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Does having some soot around the top of a wall heater vent mean that there is definitely a CO problem?

Depends on what you mean by problem. If a gas (it is gas, right?) wall heater is producing soot, then it's got some serious problems. If all of the CO that it produces is going outside, I'm not sure that the CO is really the problem. More of a symptom.

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Soot does indicate a history of incomplete combustion, but this may have been addressed.

How did the pilot and burner look? They should both be a sharp blue.

How did the exhaust smell with the furnace running for a few minutes? If you get a strong aldehyde smell, you've got incomplete combustion. While CO is colorless and odorless, the accompanying crud is not. If you take a good whiff of the exhaust and it burns your nose or lungs (car exhaust odor) you've got an issue.

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I put in a recommendation for HVAC checkup due to wall heaters always get dirty and can start putting out CO gas. I did not mention the soot thing. The roof was too steep to walk out on so I went by the venting in the attic was good and the flame was good. I think if I has been able to walk up to it and notice the soot better then I would have added that too.

Thanks for the replies.

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