Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Your Heating System & Other Household Items

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Your Heating System & Other Household Items

There are many reasons to have a home heating system inspection and tune-up every year. We’ve talked about many of them:

  • Increased efficiency means lower utility bills
  • Satisfy manufacturer warranty requirements
  • Increase longevity

Safety comes first

But nothing is more important than your safety and that of you and your family in your Denver, CO home. November is #CarbonMonoxideAwarenessMonth and is a great reminder about this deadly gas. You can’t smell it, taste it, or see it which is why it’s called the invisible or silent killer.

Each year carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning kills more than 400 people nationally, but those are just numbers. Let’s bring it closer to home:

Firefighters Suspect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

A quick online search will show you we could go on-and-on with headlines like this from across the country.

Carbon Monoxide Sources

Many times, people seem to focus only on furnaces when they talk about CO safety. It’s important to remember ANY fuel-burning device creates carbon monoxide including but not limited to:

  • Water heaters
  • Wood-burning fireplaces
  • Wood stoves (including pellet stoves)
  • Gas & oil boilers
  • Gas & oil furnaces

Symptoms

When you breathe in carbon monoxide it displaces the oxygen in your blood. The lack of oxygen can damage muscles, organs, and the brain. It’s important to know the warning signs. According to people who have survived CO poisoning, the symptoms are a little bit like having the flu:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Physical weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness

Protecting yourself

Fuel-burning appliance safety starts with annual inspections by the professionals at Builder’s. It takes a pro to spot some of the most common sources of CO:

  • Cracked heat exchangers on furnaces
  • Leaking seams
  • Cracks in exhaust pipes
  • Incomplete burning

We will also test the air for the presence of carbon monoxide when doing your heating system inspection.

Detectors

To increase carbon monoxide safety, we urge everyone to install carbon monoxide detectors in their Denver, Colorado home. At least one should be installed on each floor of the house and near each bedroom. If you have an attached garage, there should be a detector near the door into the house. A vehicle left running in the garage can quickly flood the home with CO gas.

Monitors

Detectors only sound an alarm when the CO levels are dangerously high. You may want to consider carbon monoxide monitors instead. They measure the levels constantly and can alert you to much lower concentrations of CO gas. Research shows that exposure to carbon monoxide at non-lethal levels can still cause health problems.

Count on Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning

We have been keeping Denver and its suburbs comfortable (AND SAFE) since 1950. If you wish to know more about CO detectors and monitors or schedule your home heating system inspection and maintenance, call Builder’s now.