Everyone is starting to get ready for the holidays, but this is also the time of year to talk about carbon monoxide (CO) safety. November is #CarbonMonoxideAwarenessMonth. This gas is odorless, tasteless, and invisible which is why it's called the silent killer. Each year CO poisoning kills more than 400 people nationally.
Fire & Ice Heating & Air Conditioning wants to make sure you realize any fuel-burning device in your Columbus, OH home can cause CO poisoning. It could be a fireplace, wood-burning stove, or hot water heater, but for now let's concentrate on one of the leading causes, your furnace.
Preventing carbon monoxide leaks
This is not something the homeowner is capable of doing. It takes regular maintenance by a trained HVAC technician to spot the more common sources of carbon monoxide leaks from a furnace:
- Cracked heat exchangers on furnaces
- Leaking seams
- Cracks in exhaust pipes
- Incomplete burning
Fire & Ice will always test the air for the presence of carbon monoxide when we do your heating system inspection. Even with regular maintenance, it is the homeowner's responsibility to take protective measures.
Your Columbus, OH home should have carbon monoxide detectors installed. The experts recommend at least one on each floor of the house and near each bedroom. If the home has an attached garage put a detector either in the garage or inside the house at the entrance door. A vehicle left idling in the garage can quickly fill the home with CO gas.
This is a great way to take carbon monoxide safety one step further. A CO monitor measures the level of CO gas constantly, so you are aware when the level increases. Research shows non-lethal levels of carbon monoxide can cause health problems with long-term exposure. Remember, detectors only sound an alarm when the CO levels are dangerously high.
Your body can also serve as an early warning system if you educate yourself about the symptoms. When you breathe in carbon monoxide it displaces the oxygen in your blood. As the oxygen levels get dangerously low there is damage to muscles, organs, and the brain. According to medical experts, the symptoms are a little bit like having the flu:
- Physical weakness
- Chest pain
If carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, move the victim into fresh air and immediately call 9-1-1.
Count on Fire & Ice
Carbon monoxide leaks can also be a result of improper furnace installations. Do your homework when buying a furnace and use only reputable HVAC contractors. Fire & Ice Heating & Air conditioning stands on our reputation for quality furnace installations.
The time is now
Use #CarbonMonoxideAwarenessMonth to practice good carbon monoxide safety. Call us now to schedule a furnace tune-up and inspection or to learn more about CO detectors and monitors in your home. Follow us on Facebook for more great information like this.