Keep Your Loved Ones Safe From Carbon Monoxide When Heating Your Home

Before winter winds and chilly temperatures strike, familiarize yourself about the potential hazards related to Carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide can be emitted from your heating system, and it may permeate the home, which is dangerous. Be sure to talk with HVAC contractors about your distinct heating system and whether it appears to be causing hazardous emissions in the air that your family breathes.

Some things to know about carbon monoxide (CO) dangers in your home include:

Carbon monoxide can be lethal. Carbon monoxide can asphyxiate and kill. Roughly 400 people die each year in the US from CO poisoning. Typically, this occurs when people are sleeping and don't recognize that they are breathing in toxic fumes.

CO has no odor. Since it is odorless, the best way to detect potentially lethal levels is with a carbon monoxide detector. These devices signal an alarm to alert you when carbon monoxide is present in the air inside your home. Check the battery routinely.

CO poisoning can have side-effects. There are some distinct side-effects that could indicate that CO is present in your home. These symptoms should be cause to contact a heating specialist and make efforts to increase indoor air circulation:

  • Headaches.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Nausea.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fainting.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Confusion.

Heating systems often emit CO. Many of your home features and systems could be creating and emitting carbon monoxide, such as a gas or oil furnace, gas space heaters, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, gas water heaters, and other household appliances. CO is produced through combustion, which occurs whenever you burn any type of fuel.  

Make sure your home is ventilated. If you are trying to save money on heating costs, you may be inclined to insulate and "tighten-up" your home against the cold outside. The truth is, you should always make sure that there is some sort of ventilation for fumes, emissions, and indoor air to circulate and exit your home. Talk with heating contractors about ventilating areas around your home to best address this issue.

Make sure to keep your family safe by protecting them from carbon monoxide in your home; the most effective way to ensure air quality in your home is with a carbon monoxide detector, available at most hardware or home improvement stores. Also, make annual appointments to have your heating system checked, cleaned, and inspected before cold seasons to identify any potential issues or problems. Contact a company like Mitchell Plumbing & Heating Inc for more information.