Carbon Monoxide (CO) gas is poisonous to your family. It has no smell, no taste, and no color. Every year, this deadly gas causes more than 500 deaths and sends more than 20,000 people to the hospital. It works by keeping your blood from carrying vital oxygen to your cells. In other words, it kills by asphyxiation.
What Causes Carbon Monoxide in My Home?
Many things within your home generate CO. Gas burning stoves, fireplaces, wood stoves, furnaces, charcoal grills, gas engines, cigarettes, and even space heaters which burn fuels produce CO. What's more, CO can accumulate. Anything that produces combustion creates CO.
In most cases your furnace, wood stove, and gas burning stoves are properly vented, but if they have cracks or are faulty in some way, you can be exposed to dangerous amounts of CO.
How to Know if You Have a Carbon Monoxide Problem
The only way to know you have a problem is to have CO detectors in your home. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that you have a CO detector on every level of your home, closest to the bedrooms. Furthermore, you need to change the batteries in your CO detectors once a year and test them monthly. CO detectors will not work as smoke detectors and smoke detectors do not work as CO detectors unless they are dual purpose detectors.
How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The best way to avoid CO poisoning is to schedule a yearly furnace inspection and maintenance so that small issues can be caught before they become real problems. Any indoor appliance that uses combustion should be inspected regularly by a trained technician to ensure that it is venting correctly and is in good working order. That way, your CO detectors won't need to alert you to a scary and possibly deadly situation.
If you want to learn more about carbon monoxide safety, be sure to contact Comfort24-7, your experts in heating and cooling in the Chicago, Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan areas.