Carbon Monoxide Safety Reminders For This Heating Season

carbon monoxideWhen the temperature drops, it means that it is time to fire up your furnace again. After all, it is a vital component in ensuring you have a warm and cozy home despite the frigid weather outside. Hence, it is essential that your system is properly maintained and fully functional.

Although heating systems are durable, something might still go wrong down the line. It utilizes fuel to generate heat. Therefore, it produces carbon monoxide as well. Keep in mind that carbon monoxide (CO) can put you and your family at risk if it is not contained correctly. It is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that is toxic to humans and animals. Prolonged CO exposure is also fatal.

It is recommended that you conduct preventative measures to avoid the threats this gas poses to your household. These include ensuring that you have a working carbon monoxide detector when you are using heating units.

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Definition Of Carbon Monoxide

The heating process includes the inevitable production of carbon monoxide. As mentioned above, this gas isn’t easy to detect with our senses because of its odorless and colorless properties. Hence, you must have a CO detector at home if you use appliances fueled by natural gas, heating oil, propane, wood, or charcoal.

It is also essential that you have a fully-functioning venting system in place if you have fuel-burning appliances. This way, the toxic gas is released outdoors safely, and you do not inhale it. Make sure that all fuel-burning systems and equipment are vented and installed correctly. They should also be well-maintained. This will keep your system from leaking carbon monoxide.

How To Ensure Carbon Monoxide Safety

image of a carbon monoxide detector

Install a trusted carbon monoxide detector to ensure a safe home environment. Make sure that the device is placed near all CO-producing appliances. It should also be tested regularly to ensure it is fully operational. Replace the batteries every three months or as often as needed as well.

As a general rule, your CO detector should be tested and its batteries replaced before winter starts. Read the manual carefully before you install the carbon monoxide detector. Follow the instructions so that you can install, test, and maintain the device properly.

Reasons For Indoor Carbon Monoxide Buildup

A problem in your HVAC ventilation system can lead to CO buildup. If your heating system is damaged or has wear and tear, CO can leak as well. Hence, it is also best that you have your heating system maintained by a professional HVAC contractor at least once a year. This, along with a CO detector, will ensure that your home is safe from carbon monoxide leaks.

Make sure to book your yearly heating system maintenance before the temperature begins to drop. This will ensure that there are no backdrafts near your heating unit and that blockages in your vent or flue are removed. Call a reputable HVAC company to do the proper checks and repairs. This way, any problems in your heating system are resolved before the heating season begins.

Common Signs Of CO Buildup Or Carbon Monoxide Leak

Other than your carbon monoxide detector sending out alarms, CO buildup can also be detected through other means. Your heating system creates CO during fuel combustion. Depending on the type of fuel you use, the exhaust will have different appearances. For example, if it uses heating oil, the exhaust will have soot and smoke. If you notice that there is more soot than usual, call your local, trusted HVAC technician immediately.

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Carbon Monoxide Exposure Symptoms

image of homeowner dealing with carbon monoxide symptoms

Regardless of the amount, carbon monoxide is harmful to humans and pets. The amount of CO in the air and how long you are exposed to it will determine the severity of the symptoms.
Mild CO poisoning will cause dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and headache. On the other hand, moderate symptoms include severe headaches, disorientation, drowsiness, and confusion. Severe symptoms will lead to convulsions, fainting, and heart failure. Worst of all, prolonged exposure is fatal.

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Steps To Take If You Suspect Carbon Monoxide Exposure

image of paper cut out of family in hands depicting co safety

If you suspect a CO leak in your home, switch off all heaters and other fuel-burning appliances you have right away. Open all windows and doors to let fresh air circulate throughout your home. After doing so, make sure that everyone, including your pets, leaves your house. Contact a doctor so that all CO poisoning symptoms are addressed immediately.

Follow these safety steps when your CO detector goes off. Do not take it lightly and think that it might just be sending false alerts. Keep in mind that your safety is on the line, and it is always best to be safe than sorry.

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CO poisoning can lead to severe consequences if preventative measures are not taken properly. Therefore, ensure that a carbon monoxide alarm is installed near any fuel-burning appliance you have at home. This battery-operated device should be maintained properly as it is your best defense from CO leaks. Remember to schedule annual heating system tune-ups as well.

Call Tevis Energy For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

Tevis Energy LogoFor superior heating and cooling services in central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, call Tevis Energy. We have professionally certified and highly trained technicians who conduct high-quality HVAC repairs, maintenance, replacements, and installations. All our friendly techs have ample experience and knowledge to service your system accurately within a reasonable timeframe.

Our company has the most competitive HVAC service prices in the area. We will maintain your system so that you have increased comfort, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. We can also assist you in finding the most suitable HVAC replacement system that is within your budget. All our work comes with a guarantee because your satisfaction is essential to us. Book a service appointment with us today. Do not hesitate to call Tevis Energy for a free, in-home estimate.
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