As temperatures fall and we begin to use our heating systems, the risks of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning climb. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas byproduct – produced whenever a material burns. CO reaches dangerous levels in areas that are not properly ventilated. Some common household sources of carbon monoxide are fuel-burning space heaters, gas stoves, furnaces, water heaters and fireplaces.
When CO fumes accumulate, your body replaces oxygen in your bloodstream with carbon monoxide. Early symptoms of exposure can include nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, dizziness, headache, fatigue and chest pain. Prolonged contact may result in respiratory illness and/or brain damage. Getting fresh air and seeking medical care are crucial if you have been exposed.
Though the characteristics of carbon monoxide make it more difficult to detect, the CDC does say, “CO poisoning is entirely preventable.”
Help protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Don’t burn anything in a stove or fireplace that’s not vented
- Be sure there is ventilation in areas with fuel-burning appliances
- Keep gas-powered engines 20 feet away from windows, doors and vents (generators, pressure washers, etc.)
- Never heat your house with a gas oven
- Have detectors on each level of your home as well as outside of bedroom areas
Maintaining your heating system is another important step you can take to prevent CO exposure. Advance Mechanical offers a comprehensive furnace safety assessment. Our qualified technicians will check for leaks, cracks and seal integrity, inspect the ignition system, flue piping, carbon monoxide detectors and more.
Call to schedule your heating system assessment and maintenance today!