carbon monoxide

The arrival of winter means creating a safe and warm home is a must. To do this effectively, you need to have a well-maintained heating system. These are durable machines, but that does not mean nothing will ever go wrong. As your heating system burns fuel, it inevitably produces carbon monoxide or CO. This is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas that can be harmful to animals and humans. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to ensure that this gas does not pose a risk to your household. This includes installing a carbon monoxide detector.

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When Is CO A Threat?

Carbon monoxide is hard to detect with our senses because of its odorless and colorless properties. Therefore, a carbon monoxide detector should be installed in your home when you have an appliance that utilizes natural gas, propane, heating oil, wood, and charcoal.

A ventilation system is also installed when you have fuel-burning heating systems and appliances. These allow CO to be released outdoors properly so that carbon monoxide poisoning is prevented. Aside from proper ventilation, all fuel-burning systems must be installed correctly and maintained regularly. Your system is unlikely to cause CO leaks if it is in excellent working condition. Any CO problems it might have can be detected early by a CO alarm so that you can conduct temporary measures against any further harm.

What To Do To Ensure Carbon Monoxide Safety?

image of a carbon monoxide detector

The first thing to do to ensure your home is safe from carbon monoxide poisoning is to install a high-quality CO detector. This battery-operated device is put near all systems and appliances that generate CO. When installing this mechanism, ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely. Run a test and change the batteries to fresh ones before the heating season begins. This way, you can be sure it is doing its job when you need it the most.

Common Causes & Signs Of Indoor CO Build-Up

Any venting issues you have with your heating system can cause carbon monoxide to build up. A leak can also happen if the heating unit has worn-out parts or if you have a malfunctioning system. Therefore, it is vital to have your heating system receive annual inspection and maintenance as well.

Aside from getting alerts from your CO detector, carbon monoxide build-up can also manifest in your system’s exhaust. After all, CO becomes exhaust during fuel combustion. What the exhaust looks like is dependent on the fuel type your system uses. Therefore, if you have an oil-burning unit, the exhaust will have smoke and soot if CO is present in your home. The more soot there are, the more CO it releases, so it is best to call a professional when you notice your system releasing an unusual amount.

Yearly heating system tune-ups should be conducted before the winter begins. Maintenance includes checking the flue or vent for any clogs and if there is any backdraft near your system. These problems can put your family at risk of CO exposure. Prevent these from happening by having a professional perform regular maintenance checks.

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CO Poisoning Symptoms

carbon monoxide symptoms

Carbon monoxide poisoning can present different symptoms depending on how long you are exposed to it. For instance, mild CO exposure can cause nausea, headache, fatigue, and dizziness. Moderate cases include confusion, drowsiness, and disorientation. If you’ve been exposed to toxic air for a long time, you might suffer from severe symptoms. These include convulsions, fainting, heart failure, and even death.

 

What To Do If You Suspect Carbon Monoxide Exposure

image depicting family and furnace safety

The moment you hear your CO alarm go off, tell everyone in your family to go outside. Switch off all fuel-burning systems and appliances, then open all doors and windows. Make sure that everyone has gone out, including all your pets. If you feel any symptoms, report them to your doctor right away. Always heed your CO alarm because it is still best to be safe than sorry.

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Conclusion

Carbon monoxide poisoning can have serious repercussions. Prevent it from happening by scheduling a heating system maintenance annually. Install a fully-functional CO detector as well because it is your best defense against it. This way, you can use your fuel-burning appliances without worry.

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For all your superior heating and cooling service needs, do not hesitate to contact Lawes Company. We have professionally certified technicians who can conduct top-notch services, including boiler installation, AC replacements, ductless system repairs, furnace maintenance, and more. Each of our friendly techs is equipped with the right tools, skills, and knowledge to conduct accurate and prompt HVAC services.

Rest assured that our company offers affordable HVAC service rates in the area. Our maintenance services increase your home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and home effectiveness. We can also recommend the best replacement system that fits your needs and budget. Your satisfaction is important to us, so all our works come with a guarantee. Schedule a service appointment with Lawes Company today for free, in-home estimates.

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