Many people do what they can to keep their home’s safe and functional. Carbon monoxide, also known as the silent killer, is a colorless, odorless gas that sends nearly 50,000 people to the emergency room and kills at least 430 people in the U.S. every year. With this in mind, we at Hal Mechanical would like to touch on what every homeowner should know regarding carbon monoxide.
How is Carbon Monoxide Produced?
Carbon monoxide, as mentioned, is a colorless, odorless gas that is naturally created by fire, and this toxic gas can also cause sudden illness. Carbon monoxide, or CO gas is created when gas, wood, or charcoal fires burn in small spaces, to be more specific. Such sources include your furnace, any kerosene powered gadgets, stove, gas lanterns and range, as well as charcoal and wood. Carbon monoxide replaces the oxygen that fire naturally removes from the atmosphere. That gas level in an enclosed space can do some massive damage though this usually isn’t a problem outdoors. Too much CO gas and not enough oxygen leads to poisoning since when humans or animals breathe in carbon monoxide, their red blood cells replace oxygen with CO gas.
How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Furnace
Safety is critical against CO. The best thing you can do to protect yourself from CO poisoning is to schedule regular furnace tune-ups, for your safety, and the safety of others in your home. Hal Mechanical has our expertly trained HVAC technicians inspect every part of your furnace for function and safety. Should any concerns arise, they can immediately bring it to your attention. Below are some additional safety measures to consider.
1) Talk to your HVAC technician about the best place to install the carbon monoxide detector and make sure to replace the batteries every six months. If they are installed too high, they won’t detect the leak until it is too late.
2) Avoid using gas powered appliances to heat your home if you experience a power outage. This includes your stove, oven, and range.
3) Never burn charcoal inside.
4) Do not run one in your home or garage, be sure any and all generators are outside.
5) Even if the garage door is open, never leave a car running in a garage connected to your home.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning range from simple to severe. A few of the more common symptoms include:
– Nausea and Vomiting
– Loss of breath
– Chest pain
Carbon monoxide can also impact a person’s mental state. Below are some things to look for if you believe carbon monoxide may be a factor in someone’s behavioral or mental shift:
– Vision problems
– Sudden clumsiness
– Personality changes
– Extreme mood swings
– Confusion and flawed judgement
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Unfortunately, CO gas poisoning can also cause long-term effects. Prolonged exposure to CO gas can lead to brain damage, including issues with memory and concentration. Permanent vision and hearing loss can also occur. In the event you feel your home has a carbon monoxide leak, get everyone out and seek medical attention immediately. Call in the professionals of Hal Mechanical for your furnace tune-ups and maintenance services regularly to help your family stay safe and prevent CO poisoning.