With the approach of cooler weather, it’s time to think about turning on the heating equipment. Unless your house is all electric, you likely have a fuel-burning furnace, wood stove, or fireplace. That means you need to be cognizant of practicing carbon monoxide safety in your home.
Carbon monoxide, or CO, is an odorless, tasteless, and invisible gas that is also poisonous. It is given off as a byproduct of the combustion process, so it needs to be properly vented out of your home as gas is burned in your furnace for heat.
People and pets are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause these symptoms:
If CO poisoning is suspected, people and pets should vacate the home immediately and safety officials should be notified. Anyone exposed to CO should be treated at a hospital, as death can result in extreme cases.
Every fall, you should have your HVAC system checked so the HVAC tech can inspect the exhaust flues, the burners and the heat exchanger for gas and CO leaks. The heat exchanger can develop minute cracks from which CO can leak. Not all tiny cracks are a worry for emitting CO, but they should be monitored for possible future problems.
Another risk for CO poisoning is from attached garages, when homeowners start cars and let them run, as well as gas-operated water heaters. Other concerns are fumes wafting into the home from the following:
Carbon monoxide monitors are the best way to keep poisonous fumes in check. They can be battery-operated or battery backup, but be sure to change the battery every fall and spring. The detector should be placed where it will wake you up, such as outside your bedroom.
Buy a detector with a digital readout, which will tell you the level of CO concentration in addition to signaling with an alarm.
For more on carbon monoxide safety, contact Powers Heating and Air of Peachtree City.