Nov 22

How To Avoid A Carbon Monoxide Leak In Your Home

carbon monoxideCarbon monoxide buildup is one of the most dangerous hazards a homeowner can face. The gas is both colorless and odorless, making it impossible to detect with your senses alone. This makes it entirely too easy to develop carbon monoxide poisoning, a condition caused by prolonged exposure. According to the CDC, CO poisoning is the cause of at least 430 fatalities per year. Fortunately, a carbon monoxide leak is completely preventable with effort and awareness.

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How To Detect A Carbon Monoxide Leak

The best way to prevent yourself or your family from succumbing to carbon monoxide gas is to educate yourself on how to detect it and what you should do with the warning. The first step is understanding where it comes from.

Carbon monoxide is a naturally occurring byproduct of combustion, the result of burning fuels such as heating oil, coal, wood, diesel, gasoline, or natural gas. There is no need to sacrifice heat for safety. This is because a properly maintained heating system will limit the amount of carbon monoxide produced. An inefficient system, however, can lead to poor indoor air quality and result in carbon monoxide buildup in your home.

CO Symptoms

If the gas begins to accumulate, you will not see or smell it without a carbon monoxide detector’s assistance. The first sign is there will be the earliest symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning among your household’s members. These include dizziness, headaches, confusion, nausea, shortness of breath, and fainting. Thankfully, none of these symptoms mean that death is imminent, but you should take precautions right away.


What To Do When Facing Carbon Monoxide Exposure

If you fear you or your family is suffering from adverse effects caused by carbon monoxide exposure, the first thing you should do is open every door and window in your house. This will allow your home to air out and the offending gas to escape.

You should also turn off your heater to prevent any additional gas from entering the premises. Next, every member of your household should leave the building for an emergency health check. Be sure to tell the attending physician that carbon monoxide may be to blame for the symptoms being experienced. A blood test will be used to confirm the diagnosis, at which point your entire family will be given oxygen for a few hours. You will be safe after this treatment, but be sure to hire a professional HVAC company to service your heating system to prevent future carbon monoxide buildup.

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Best Ways To Prevent CO Exposure

Combustion Appliances

You need to prevent this from happening at all costs. First, keep combustion appliances such as charcoal grills and portable generators outside, as they produce more carbon monoxide gas than systems intended for indoor use.

CO Detector

carbon monoxide alarm

You should also install a battery-powered CO detector, which will give you some warning if CO levels in your home climb too high even during a blackout. Additionally, test it regularly to ensure that it is in working order when you need it most.


Service Your Heating System

Regular inspections of your heating system by a certified HVAC service company can help eliminate any issues pertaining to carbon monoxide before they begin to represent a serious health risk. In furnaces, the result of cracks in either its flue supply pipes or its heat exchanger can lead to a carbon monoxide leak in your home.  Boilers produce carbon monoxide when the fuel does not burn completely due to a lack of oxygen. Either way, a heating system that does not vent properly will emit CO into your home. Therefore, it is vital to service your heating system every year by scheduling a tune-up in the fall, right before the heating season begins.

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In conclusion, carbon monoxide gas is a serious health hazard that can be difficult to detect due to its colorless, odorless nature. Furthermore, the best way to prevent carbon monoxide problems is to limit how much of it you are exposed to with detectors and regular HVAC maintenance work. If you or someone you care about is already experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, leave the house immediately and seek medical treatment. With these tips in mind, you will be prepared for any situation involving your home and carbon monoxide.

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Call Skylands Energy Service For All Of Your Heating Needs

image of skylands energy service logoSkylands Energy Service is the leading service provider of reliable heating and cooling in the area. Our HVAC certified technicians are trained and highly skilled in ensuring that your comfort and safety needs are met. You can count on us to provide top-notch heating and air conditioning tune-ups, installations, replacements, and repairs for all our clients. We do this by ensuring that your heating and cooling systems are managed only by experts and that we prioritize your comfort and safety above all else.

We also guarantee the most competitive service costs. Why make do with what you have if you could improve your energy efficiency and reduce your heating and cooling cost at the same time? Your home should be a haven of comfort and we can make sure that your requirements are met to your satisfaction. Give Skylands Energy Service a call today and schedule a free in-home estimate.

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