Icy temperatures lead homeowners to seal up their homes and turn up the thermostat, increasing the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) inhalation. Close to 50,000 people in the U.S. end up in the emergency room annually as a result of inadvertent CO poisoning, and more than 400 people die.
This odorless, tasteless, colorless gas is a byproduct of incomplete combustion, which means it’s produced any time a material is combusted or used for fuel. If the appliances in your home run on natural gas, oil, propane, kerosene, wood, gasoline or charcoal, you’re at risk of CO inhalation. Find out what happens when you inhale carbon monoxide emissions and how to minimize your risk of poisoning this winter.
Commonly known as the “silent killer,” carbon monoxide is lethal because it keeps the body from processing oxygen correctly. CO molecules uproot oxygen that’s part of the blood, starving the heart, brain, lungs and other vital organs of oxygen. Large amounts of CO can overwhelm your system in minutes, leading to loss of consciousness and suffocation. Without prompt care, brain damage or death can occur.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can also happen progressively if the concentration is fairly modest. The most frequent signs of CO exposure include:
Since these symptoms imitate the flu, a lot of people don’t learn they have carbon monoxide poisoning until moderate symptoms progress to organ damage. Be wary of symptoms that decrease when you leave home, indicating the source could be originating from inside.
While CO inhalation is intimidating, it’s also entirely avoidable. Here are the ideal ways to keep your family safe from carbon monoxide gas.
If you ever run combustion appliances in or around your home, you should put in carbon monoxide detectors to notify you of CO gas. These devices can be hardwired, battery-operated or plugged into an outlet depending on the style. Here’s how to make the most of your carbon monoxide detectors:
Many appliances, including furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces and clothes dryers, may leak carbon monoxide if the system is installed poorly or not running as it should. An annual maintenance visit is the only way to know for sure if an appliance is malfunctioning before a leak develops.
A precision tune-up from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing includes the following:
If your gas furnace, boiler or water heater has developed a CO leak, or you want to thwart leaks before they happen, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help. Our HVAC and plumbing maintenance and repair services encourage a safe, warm home all year-round. Contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office for more details about carbon monoxide safety or to ask for heating services.
By Brian Sodoma, for Service Experts With autumn coming soon, homeowners will soon be planning for the winter months ahead. Cold weather puts even more demand on your heating and cooling system. To prepare your furnace for the heavy work it will soon be taking on, regular HVAC maintenance should... Continue reading
The workplace is the main source of exposure to potentially harmful substances and pollutants – mainly air pollution, toxic chemicals and dust. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are 3.2 million deaths worldwide have been attributed to airborne pollution in the past 10... Continue reading
As we enter the colder season with covid-19 still lingering here in Ontario, you must do everything you can to protect your business along with your employees and the important assets that help make your business run. Service Experts commercial HVAC has created a list to provide clients with... Continue reading
© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.