Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that is harmful to humans in quantities more than 35ppm. This means that if there is a carbon monoxide leak in your home, it can make you very ill and sick, and in extreme cases even death. You will never know what it is because it is hard to detect without certain equipment. If your home uses natural gas, gas, or any other type of fuel to power your home or for heating, you could be in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. There are signs and tips to avoid becoming poisoned by carbon monoxide, and we will discuss them in this article.
If your home utilizes a gas furnace, has a fireplace, or any type of appliance that uses fuel to work, you need to be wary of carbon monoxide poisoning. If the ventilation in your home is poor, then carbon monoxide levels can grow, and potentially cause death. Carbon monoxide poisoning usually occurs when you’re heating and air conditioning system uses fuel to work and there are leaks in the duct-work or ventilation system. If you have an attached garage to your home, and you leave your car running, even with the garage door open, it could create a substantial amount of carbon monoxide inside your home. Kerosene and propane heaters can cause an abundance of carbon monoxide to infiltrate your home as well.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can feel like having the flu. You will not run a fever but you may experience: dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headaches and/or irregular breathing. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms above, you need to seek fresh air immediately. The Carbon Monoxide and Gas Safety Society averages that, carbon monoxide poisoning is estimated to kill around 40 people a year and injure approximately 300. There could be more cases than this because oftentimes carbon monoxide poisoning goes unreported. If homeowners were not made aware of carbon monoxide overflow, then the examiners would not know to test for it.
How do you prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from happening? As stated above if your heating and cooling system requires fuel to work, then you should have your system inspected yearly, or twice a year to be extra safe. HVAC specialists can check to make sure that there are no leaks, and that your ventilation system is in working order. If you use kerosene heaters to heat your home, be sure that there is plenty of ventilation. Do not preheat your car in an attached garage, even if the garage door is open. There needs to be smoke detectors in every room of your house, and at least one carbon monoxide detector. If you have multiple levels in your home, then there needs to be one detector for every level in the home. It is always best to be overly cautious, than chance the likelihood of becoming poisoned.
If you have a chimney in your home, you always need to make sure that there is plenty of adequate ventilation in your home. You always need to have your chimney professionally cleaned, and inspected every year. You should never burn charcoal in your home, whether it is in the fireplace, or on a grill. It is best to avoid using gasoline powered equipment in your home.
No one wants to jeopardize the lives of their family, but when it comes to carbon monoxide, it is a silent and deadly killer. If your home uses any type of fuel gas to run appliances of HVAC equipment, it is your best interest to have your home inspected. Always use your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace the batteries every six months. We all live for moments to take our breath away, but we do not want our breaths to be taken by an odorless gas.