Carbon Monoxide Safety Reminders For This Heating Season

Chemistry model molecule carbon monoxide COOne of your priorities this winter season should be to have a safe and warm home. Therefore, it is crucial that you have a fully operational and well-maintained heating system. Heaters are known to be highly durable, but this doesn’t mean they will stay that way all the time. Heating systems burn fuel to produce heat. Like other fuel-burning machines, it produces carbon monoxide as a byproduct. When the system is venting improperly, carbon monoxide can leak into your home. Therefore, you should be wary of carbon monoxide (CO) and its risks. Make sure that you have a functional carbon monoxide detector, especially when using your home heating appliances.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. It is hazardous to humans and pets. Exposure to this gas for an extended period can even cause death. The good news is that you can do a few things to make sure that this gas doesn’t pose a threat to you or your loved ones.

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What Is Carbon Monoxide & When Is It A Threat?

As mentioned above, the heating process leads to the production of CO. Since it does not have any smell or color, our senses alone are not enough to detect it. Therefore, a carbon monoxide detector is a crucial device needed in your home if you use natural gas, propane, wood, charcoal, or heating oil.

Homes that use fuel-burning heaters and appliances indoors typically have a venting system in place. A venting system allows the carbon monoxide to be released outdoors so that you and your family do not inhale CO. As a result, CO poisoning is prevented. Therefore, all fuel-powered heating systems and appliances must be installed and vented correctly. They should also receive regular heating system maintenance. After all, systems and appliances are unlikely to leak CO when they are in good working condition. A CO alarm and detector should help detect any leaks early if problems do happen. This way, you can act quickly to solve it.

The First Step In Carbon Monoxide Safety

carbon monoxide alarmThe first thing you need to do for your home to be safe is to install a top-quality CO detector. This alarm is a battery-powered device installed near appliances that generate CO. Make sure to replace the batteries periodically and to test the device regularly. Remember to do these tasks before the beginning of the cold season. Read the manufacturer’s manual before installing your carbon monoxide detector. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully as well. This way, you conduct proper HVAC installation, testing, and maintenance.

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Some Common Causes Of Indoor Carbon Monoxide Build-Up

Problems with the ventilation of your heating system can cause carbon monoxide to build up. CO can also leak if you have a faulty or worn-out heater. Hence, it is also essential that your heating system receives annual checks and maintenance, even if you install CO alarms.

It is recommended that you schedule your yearly HVAC maintenance before the heating season starts. This will protect your family from CO leaks. A backdraft near your heating system and blockages in the flue or vent put your home at risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Call a reputable HVAC company to diagnose and repair your system correctly. Make sure this is done before winter so that your system is in tiptop shape when you need it the most.

Another Common Sign Of A CO Buildup Or Leak

Carbon monoxide buildup can be apparent in ways other than alerts from your CO detector. This gas is emitted as an exhaust during fuel combustion. The fuel type you use will dictate how the exhaust will look. For instance, an oil-burning system will have signs of soot and smoke long before there is CO in your home. Therefore, call your local, trusted technician immediately if you notice your oil-burning system releasing soot. Gas systems tend to exhibit a yellow or orange flame. You may even see some pops of yellow or orange. Both cases point to a combustion problem that you will need to deal with immediately.


Mild, Moderate, And Severe Symptoms Of Carbon Monoxide Exposure

headache due to carbon monoxide exposure

Carbon monoxide is poisonous to animals and humans, no matter the amount. The severity and extensiveness of the symptoms will depend on how much CO is in your living environment and how long you are exposed to the gas.

Mild symptoms are nausea, dizziness, headache, and fatigue. On the other hand, you’ll experience confusion, extreme headaches, drowsiness, and disorientation when you have moderate symptoms. Severe CO poisoning can lead to experiencing convulsions, fainting, heart failure, and death.

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What To Do If You Suspect Carbon Monoxide Exposure

image of a paper cut family depicting furnace safety

When you notice carbon monoxide poisoning signs in your family, turn off all appliances that use fuel immediately. Open doors and windows to allow fresh air to circulate throughout your home. Go outside right away after doing these tasks. Consult a doctor immediately for any CO poisoning symptoms you are feeling.

Do these steps immediately when your CO detector issues an alert. Never think that your CO alarm is alerting you falsely. Remember that being safe is better than being sorry when it comes to your family’s safety.

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Final Words

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a severe problem. Homes that use fuel-burning machines and appliances must prevent this issue from happening. Therefore, have a well-maintained and functional carbon monoxide alarm and detector because it is your best defense against it. Another excellent step you can take is to have an annual heating system maintenance.

Since carbon monoxide does not have an odor or a color, a CO alarm is needed to tell you when this gas is present in your home. However, the best way to prevent it is to have a professional HVAC technician check your heating system. Ensure that yearly heating system tune-ups are scheduled before the start of the heating season.

Call Miller Oil Company For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

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Miller Oil Company provides high-quality HVAC services in Hartford County, Connecticut. We have only the best professionally certified technicians for all your heating and cooling service needs, including furnace maintenance, boiler repair, air conditioner installations, and more. All our friendly techs are skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced in servicing any HVAC system correctly.

Our company has the most affordable HVAC service rates in the area. We offer maintenance services that help improve your home’s comfort and energy efficiency while lowering your energy bills. When you need to repair or replace your HVAC system, we can recommend the best solutions within your needs and budget. All our work comes with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. Schedule a service appointment with Miller Oil Company today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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