Winter temperatures lead homeowners to secure their homes and raise the thermostat, elevating the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) inhalation. Close to 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency room each year because of accidental CO poisoning, and more than 400 people die.
This odorless, tasteless, colorless gas is a result of imperfect combustion, which means it’s produced each time a material is burned. If some appliances in your home run on natural gas, oil, propane, kerosene, wood, gasoline or charcoal, you’re at risk of CO inhalation. Learn what happens when you breathe in carbon monoxide fumes and how to lower your risk of poisoning this winter.
Often known as the “silent killer,” carbon monoxide is lethal because it keeps the body from processing oxygen appropriately. CO molecules displace oxygen in the blood, starving the heart, brain, lungs and other vital organs of oxygen. Dense concentrations of CO can overtake your system in minutes, causing loss of consciousness and suffocation. Without prompt care, brain damage or death can occur.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can also take place gradually if the concentration is relatively minimal. The most prevalent signs of CO inhalation include:
Because these symptoms imitate the flu, many people won’t discover they have carbon monoxide poisoning until minor symptoms evolve to organ damage. Look out for symptoms that subside when you leave home, suggesting the source may be originating from inside.
While CO poisoning is alarming, it’s also entirely avoidable. Here are the ideal ways to help your family avoid carbon monoxide gas.
If you ever use combustion appliances in or near your home, you should add carbon monoxide detectors to notify you of CO gas. These devices can be hardwired, battery-operated or plugged into an outlet depending on the style. Here’s how to reap all the benefits of your carbon monoxide detectors:
Many appliances, including furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces and clothes dryers, may release carbon monoxide if the system is installed improperly or not performing as it should. A yearly maintenance visit is the only way to know for sure if an appliance is defective before a leak develops.
A precision tune-up from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing consists of the following:
If your gas furnace, boiler or water heater has sprung a CO leak, or you want to stop leaks before they happen, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help. Our HVAC and plumbing maintenance and repair services help provide a safe, warm home all year-round. Get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office for more information about carbon monoxide safety or to schedule heating services.
By Brian Sodoma, for Service Experts With autumn coming soon, homeowners will soon be planning for the winter weather ahead. Cold weather adds even more demand on your heating and cooling system. To prepare your heating unit for the heavy work it will soon be taking on, scheduled HVAC... Continue reading
When you hear the phrase ultraviolet light, you might think of getting sunburned after a long day at the pool. Having said that, UV light is also a tool for increasing indoor air quality. Sunscreen defends against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light used in air purification. If you deal... Continue reading
Indoor allergens affect millions of people in the U.S. each year. It’s common for many to look outside the home for potential allergens triggering sniffles, watery eyes, respiratory problems and even asthma flare-ups. But many are surprised to learn that indoor dust mites, molds, animal dander... Continue reading
© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.