Carbon monoxide (CO1) poisoning causes around 15,000 illnesses and injuries each year, and almost 500 deaths. Carbon monoxide results when fuels improperly combust, resulting in a lingering, leftover toxic gas that is difficult for the average person to detect due to its lack of color and odor. Efficient furnaces that ventilate gas properly reduce your risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Yearly preventative HVAC maintenance and inspection, as well as installing CO1 detectors in the home, protects your and your family from this silent toxin.
The most important safeguard against carbon monoxide poisoning from your heating unit is to have an inspection at least once per year. An efficient furnace runs less often and produces less CO1, whereas an inefficient furnace works harder and may be clogged, resulting in CO1 buildup.
A professional HVAC inspector will also check for cracks in the combustion chamber and ventilation components of the unit. Leaks in these areas mean CO1 can seep into your living space instead of getting directed outside the home.
In addition to annual inspections, changing your furnace filter regularly keeps your furnace running efficiently, as well as improves your overall indoor air quality. Make sure the area around your HVAC unit is uncluttered, and that the unit and ventilation system is free of debris.
Install CO1 alarms in sleeping areas and near gas appliances. CO1 detectors are easily purchased at home improvement and hardware stores, and can be battery-operated, plugged in, or even wireless. Similar to smoke alarms, they emit a warning sound when high levels of CO1 are detected. Check detectors regularly to make sure they are working.
Know the Symptoms of CO1 poisoning
CO1 poisoning can sneak up without warning. In doctor’s offices, it can be misdiagnosed as a cold or flu. Being aware of the symptoms helps alert you to the possibility that you have a ventilation problem and need to let fresh air into your home immediately. CO1 doesn’t just cause death, but progressive symptoms with low-grade, long-term exposure. Symptoms include:
- Seeing spots
- Loss of muscle coordination
For more information on the mechanisms of CO1 production and ventilation systems, please see here.
Barton Boys, a locally owned and operated business, is the Spokane area’s most trusted HVAC contractor. If you need a furnace inspection, Barton Boys services both residential and commercial units, as well as offers maintenance programs as a convenient way to keep your HVAC system at its optimal performance level. For more information, please visit www.BartonBoys.com, or call (509)-892-5300!