Should you be concerned about carbon monoxide? If you own any appliance in your home which burns fuel, such as oil, natural gas, coal, propane, gasoline, diesel, or wood, you should be concerned about carbon monoxide or CO.
What Is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide or CO is a colorless gas that you can neither smell nor taste. It is a byproduct of burning fuel and can rapidly build up in your home if you do not have adequate ventilation or if the appliance is faulty. It is a deadly gas which causes asphyxiation by blocking oxygen from entering your body. About 400 deaths each year are attributed to CO poisoning and about 20,000 people end up being rushed to the emergency room because of CO poisoning.
What Are the Symptoms of CO Poisoning?
CO poisoning can act a lot like the flu. People who experience CO poisoning may experience headache, nausea, weakness, dizziness, difficulty breathing, and vomiting. You may become tired, suffer confusion, become uncoordinated, lose consciousness, and may die.
How Do I Detect CO?
Because you can’t see, smell, or taste CO, it’s hard to detect. That’s why you need a CO detector to ensure that you can be alerted when high levels of CO are present. Smoke detectors will not detect CO unless they are made for detecting CO as well. For optimum coverage in your home, you should have a CO detector on each floor of your home, preferably close to the bedrooms. You will need to change the batteries in your CO detector once a year at a minimum and test your CO detectors once a month.
How Do I Prevent CO?
You can help prevent CO poisoning by having your heating appliances and other appliances that burn combustible material at least once a year in the fall along with testing your CO detectors to make certain they work.
For more information about preventing carbon monoxide in your home, contact Stack Heating & Cooling, serving the greater Cleveland Area since 1976.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about carbon monoxide and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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