One threat that enters our homes is one that we rarely even think about. It’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It has the ability to float through our homes just like the air we breathe, yet unlike oxygen, it’s certainly not essential to our lives. In fact, this threat is the exact opposite; causing serious illness or even death to those it attacks.
So what is this threat? It’s carbon monoxide – a gas that is produced by the burning of fuels such as coal, natural gas, oil, wood, kerosene and charcoal. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, on average approximately 170 people die and many others experience serious illness each year from carbon monoxide poisoning from non-automotive consumer products including furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, portable room heaters and generators.
The first signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the symptoms that accompany the flu. These symptoms will include headache, achiness, fatigue and even vomiting and nausea, however, unlike the flu, you will not have a fever with the symptoms. If you are feeling that you may be experiencing CO poisoning, you will want to get fresh air immediately. Open all of the windows in your home and go to the nearest emergency room.
While we all understand the importance of having smoke detectors in our homes to alert us of possible fire, it’s just as important to have a carbon monoxide detector to warn us when this poisonous gas is present. Similar to a smoke alarm, a carbon monoxide detector will sound an alarm if the levels of the gas rise to a dangerous level.
Carbon monoxide detectors are most effective when combined with preventative maintenance on your appliances, including your furnace. The leaking of carbon monoxide occurs when a part of the furnace malfunctions and releases the toxic gas. To prevent this from occurring, technicians like those at McClintock Heating & Cooling will thoroughly inspect your heating system to ensure that all parts are running properly and will repair any parts that may not be working up to par. The preventative maintenance combined with detectors throughout your home will leave you with the comfort of knowing that your family is protected from carbon monoxide.