Carbon Monoxide Awareness in Your Home

Winter months are the most common time for carbon monoxide poisoning cases to occur. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a silent killer in residential homes because it’s odorless, tasteless and colorless. You can reduce the chance of carbon monoxide leaking in your home by scheduling preventative maintenance on your heating system annually. Additional tools to help keep you safe from carbon monoxide include installing a carbon monoxide detector and calling a professional to have your heating system inspected for any potential leaks.

Sources of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of burning fuel to heat a home and occurs most commonly from HVAC systems, furnaces and boilers with a defect or malfunction. HVAC systems, furnaces and boilers top the list of appliances creating carbon monoxide in residential homes. Other sources of carbon monoxide leaks include:

  • Leaky chimneys
  • Kerosene heaters
  • Unvented fireplaces
  • Gas ranges
  • Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces
  • Generators
  • Gas-fueled space heaters and
  • Gas-fueled appliances.

5 Signs Your HVAC System is Leaking Carbon Monoxide

The most common cause of carbon monoxide poisoning in a home is due to a compromised heating system. Typically, HVAC systems, furnaces and boilers are safe unless they have defects, allowing hazardous carbon monoxide gas to leak without completing the combustion process.

  • An older HVAC system is more likely to leak carbon monoxide poisoning due to ordinary wear and tear. Schedule preventative maintenance annually to have your system inspected for any potential leaks. Our NATE-certified technicians will recommend when your old system should be replaced to prevent the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • If you have cracks in the combustion chamber of your HVAC system, CO can escape into your home.
  • Leaking seams in your HVAC system or boiler are signs of a potential carbon monoxide leakage.
  • If the exhaust piping has cracks, dangerous carbon monoxide may emit into your home.
  • A HVAC system with an incomplete combustion process of gases is more likely to leak toxic CO into your house.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms

Because carbon monoxide has no taste, smell or color, it’s hard to know when a leak is present until it’s too late. Evacuate and have your home inspected immediately by an HVAC professional if you notice any of these symptoms in you, your family or your pets:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • State of confusion
  • Physical weakness
  • Extreme nausea
  • Chest pain and
  • Stubborn headaches.

Carbon Monoxide Prevention

The first step in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning in your home is to schedule preventative maintenance annually on your heating system. Mills Heating & Air offers a preventative maintenance plan covering twenty-one points of inspection, ensuring your heating equipment is operating efficiently without any dangerous leaks. Regular maintenance will catch damaged components and potential problems before they escalate and cause harmful gases to seep into your home. Proper care of your unit will keep you and your family safe and extend the life of your HVAC system.

The second step toward preventing carbon monoxide poisoning is to install carbon monoxide detectors near bedrooms in your home. A detector will signal you if any gases are emitted into your home, especially while you sleep. High doses of carbon monoxide are dangerous, especially overnight causing death without any preliminary symptoms. Check the batteries in your detector every month and test them to make sure the alarm is working properly at all times.

Be proactive when it comes to carbon monoxide poisoning in your home! Install carbon monoxide detectors near bedrooms and schedule preventative maintenance on your HVAC system. Contact Mills Heating & Air to have your HVAC system inspected to keep your family safe.

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