Each year, thousands of Americans are hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO), is a colorless, odorless gas that results from burning certain fuels, such as wood and gas. It can even come out of your oven if you leave the door open while it’s running. When inhaled, it enters the bloodstream, replacing oxygen in the process. This results in damage to tissue, ultimately leading to brain damage, heart problems, and possibly death.
CO poisoning is characterized by headache, weakness, nausea, blurred vision, dizziness, confusion, shortness of breath, and passing out. It is vital to leave your home and seek medical help immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
Carbon monoxide becomes too concentrated in the air if fuel-burning items are not properly ventilated. Some apparatuses that can lead to CO poisoning include:
Even if they are properly ventilated, these can still contribute to CO poisoning if they are not properly maintained. For example, if one of the exhaust flues on your furnace is cracked or the pilot light is not functioning correctly, it can lead to CO leaks in your home.
Mitigating the Risk
CO can be deadly, but only if it is present and undetected in the home. It is possible to keep your family safe from CO poisoning with a few preventative measures. These include:
Routine HVAC maintenance is key to keeping your home free of dangerous levels of CO. While most people can check some areas of a furnace, it requires specialized HVAC experience to be able to do a full diagnosis on a furnace or other heating unit. Climate Tech Air Conditioning and Heating provides experienced personnel to help keep your home comfortable and CO free this winter, so contact us today.