Do you know how to protect your family from Carbon monoxide leaks? Unfortunately, just because you can’t see, smell, or touch Carbon monoxide, that doesn’t mean it may not be lurking in your home. Carbon monoxide (CO) is called a ‘silent killer’ because it is a highly poisonous gas that is odorless and colorless. If it is breathed in, it can cause brain damage or even death. The most common cause of a carbon monoxide leak: An older furnace or appliance that is not burning natural gas properly. Because of the deadly consequences of Carbon monoxide, we recommend that every home with a gas furnace or gas appliances have carbon monoxide detectors.
Recently, our Sales Manager, Don Manske teamed up with Fox 17 for their Home Sweet Home Tips series to discuss how to prevent CO leaks from your furnace you can view here: https://www.fox17online.com/morning-mix/boss-services-how-to-prevent-carbon-monoxide-leaks
Read below for more carbon monoxide prevention tips for your whole home!
What Sources Should You Check for a Carbon Monoxide Leak?
When fossil fuel (like natural gas) is not fully burned, Carbon monoxide is produced. In most cases, this happens due to a malfunction or the lack of proper venting. Common sources include:
- an idling vehicle in an attached garage
- attached garage passageway door to your home is left ajar
- cracked or damaged furnace heat exchanger (as Don says in the video above)
- chimneys on fuel-burning appliances needing to be cleaned or repaired
- heated garages or shops with improperly vented equipment
- barbecuing indoors
- depressurization (inside air is exhausted from your home faster than outside fresh air can come in)
What are the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Exposure to carbon monoxide is very dangerous for your health and can even be fatal. Thankfully, properly installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home will protect you from experiencing these symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:
- muscle weakness
- shortness of breath
- blurred vision
- loss of consciousness
If you experience something like the flu without a fever, it could be carbon monoxide poisoning. If you experience these symptoms, get outside into the fresh air immediately, seek medical attention, and then contact a home services company immediately.
How to Prevent CO Leaks in Your Home
- Get an annual inspection of your furnace and all your fuel-burning appliances by an expert technician from your preferred home services company to help detect carbon monoxide leaks.
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm near all sleeping areas (if your home has any fuel-burning appliances, furnace, fireplace, or attached garage).
- For added protection, install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing and maintaining your carbon monoxide detectors.
- Never use outdoor fuel-burning equipment (generators, patio heaters, barbecues) inside your home or garage as a temporary heat source.
If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds and someone is experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, get outside immediately and call 911. Additionally, if the alarm sounds, but no one is experiencing any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, shut off all your gas appliances (and/or the main gas shut off valve), ventilate your home and contact your home services company. You need a qualified technician to determine the cause of the carbon monoxide outbreak and implement a solution for you.
Need a Furnace Inspection for Carbon Monoxide Prevention?
If there’s any question that your furnace is leaking Carbon monoxide or you haven’t had a furnace inspection in the last year, our expert HVAC professionals serve all of Southwest Michigan and Greater Grand Rapids and can provide you with a thorough check-up and peace of mind going into the winter season. In order to ensure your furnace is working properly and safely, it’s a good idea to have an inspection annually. If you’re in need, give us a call at 269-468-6682. If it’s an emergency, we have real people answering our phones 24/7 who can help!