How To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Through HVAC Maintenance
August 2, 2021
If your home is heated with a gas furnace, you need to be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Read on to learn how to spot the symptoms and how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home.
What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when carbon monoxide builds up in your bloodstream. CO is tasteless, invisible and odorless, but it is also deadly. Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to serious injury, tissue damage or even death.
This dangerous gas can build up during the operation of fuel burning devices. A malfunctioning furnace can put you at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning, but there are other ways a person may be exposed to dangerous CO levels. In cold climates, for example, some people turn their car on to warm it up. This can be dangerous when done in an area that isn’t properly ventilated, such as their garage.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms
Carbon monoxide is virtually undetectable without specialized sensors. You often won’t know you’re being exposed to carbon monoxide until you’re experiencing the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Remember these common carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms so you can spot the signs of a CO issue in your home before it’s too late:
- Breathing problems
- Chest pain
Breathing too much CO can make you pass out or even die because your body is not getting enough oxygen to function. Read this carbon monoxide guide from the CDC, and call Lozier’s emergency maintenance number if you suspect a carbon monoxide issue is being caused by your home heating equipment.
What Gives Off Carbon Monoxide In Your Home?
Anything that burns coal, gasoline, kerosene, oil, propane or wood produces carbon monoxide. This includes vehicle engines, charcoal grills, portable heating systems including small propane heaters, stoves, boilers, open fires and water heaters that use natural gas. A blocked chimney could also pose a carbon monoxide risk.
Carbon monoxide is produced when fuel isn’t burned completely. The incomplete burning of any product containing carbon results in dangerous carbon monoxide fumes that are hazardous to breathe in. Furnaces and other fuel-burning equipment aren’t dangerous when they’re working properly and used appropriately — it’s when items are faulty or used improperly that they pose a risk.
How To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of poisoning death in the United States. You should take carbon monoxide control and detection very seriously. Here are some tips for preventing carbon monoxide poisoning:
1. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home is one of the best ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors should be tested monthly and the batteries changed when necessary. If your home isn’t equipped with carbon monoxide detectors, you can purchase them at any hardware or home improvement store.
Where To Put A Carbon Monoxide Detector
You should have multiple carbon monoxide detectors in your house. Install CO detectors on every floor of your home. Some detectors should be placed close enough to bedrooms that the alarm will wake sleeping family members. Don't forget to put them in your basement and garage.
2. Regular Fuel-Burning Appliance Inspections
Routinely inspect your fuel-burning appliances to make sure they are working properly and not putting you and your family at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. You should have seasonal furnace inspections, and you should also regularly inspect small heaters and anything else that burns fuel when it runs. Contact Lozier Heating & Cooling to schedule an inspection.
3. Ongoing Cleaning & Maintenance
In addition to routine inspections, you should have your furnace and other fuel-burning appliances cleaned and maintained by a professional. Schedule a furnace tune-up with Lozier, and ask about joining our Lozier Loyalty Rewards program. With Lozier Loyalty Rewards, you get regular HVAC inspections and discounts on replacement parts — all while earning money toward a furnace or A/C replacement.
Let Lozier Give You Peace Of Mind
Carbon monoxide poisoning is serious, and Lozier Heating & Cooling is serious about keeping you and your family safe and healthy. Schedule a furnace inspection, tune-up or other HVAC service. Reach out to us or give us a call at 515-267-1000.