I recently had an HVAC guy out to check our furnace, which we had not been doing regular maintenance on. Our furnace is a well known name brand, lower-to-middle of the line, and about six years old.
Anyhow the technician ran a "combustion analysis" test the yeilded the following CO info:
CO 160 PPM
CO AIR FREE 270 PPM
Based on this information, the technician told us we had a very dangerous situation in terms of Carbon Monoxide leakage, probably due to a cracked heat exchanger. He advised us to replace the entire furnace immediately and offered to dispatch emergency technicians over the weekend to install one of thier "house brands" (their own furnace).
Of course I got a second opinion and called an HVAC company that my family has used for over 15 years. He turned up no leakage externally and found 80 PPM in the exhaust vent. He pronounced our furnace safe but dirty.
I called the original company back for a refund and spoke to the owner. He claims that he is one of the few companies in the area the runs "combustion analysis" tests, and that unless the second HVAC guy ran the same type of test, he wouldn't have detected the dangerous CO levels. He claims that we still have a very dangerous issue on our hands that should be tended to ASAP.
Two things don't sit right with me:
1. When I asked why there was no detectable leakage in spite of such high readings, he said that he didn't know why it wasn't showing up and then mentioned something about "negative pressure" in the heat exchanger.
2. The original technician who was out told us that with the furnace being over five years old, that the heat exchanger probably wasn't under warranty any more, and that the cost for the part + labor would be about 2/3 of a brand new furnace. I later found out that most manufacturers have a 15-20 year warranty on the heat exchanger.
My two questions:
1. What are your thoughts on this combustion analysis test? Can anyone explain to me why the leakage is not detectable by any other test? Do they have a valid point?
2. Should I report this to the BBB?