Keeping your family safe from the invisible dangers of carbon monoxide is crucial to your family’s safety and well-being. Before we get into how carbon monoxide (CO) can cause harm and steps you can take to prevent CO in your home, it’s important to know exactly what carbon monoxide is.
Carbon Monoxide is an invisible, odorless, and colorless flammable gas that replaces oxygen in the blood. It can kill quickly and is undetectable to human senses—making it one of the most dangerous chemicals that can enter your home.
It’s important to know that carbon monoxide can seep in through essential appliances in your home. Gas appliances are a very common way CO can get in without being detected. However, you would be surprised by all the ways this deadly can gas can make a home a death trap. Here is a shortlist of ways (CO) can come in:
If you have a garage attached to your home, leaving your car running when your garage is closed can cause CO to build up and seep in through the cracks around the door into your house.
Dryers that are not well vented can become a way in for carbon monoxide, so it’s important to ensure your dryer vent system doesn’t have clogs so the CO generated can be channeled outside.
Smoking too much in your home can cause a build up of carbon monoxide, so if you’re a smoker it’s a good idea to take your smoke breaks outside—or, at the very least, ensure you’re smoking in a well-ventilated area.
Burning fuel generates CO, and gas stoves and ovens can burn a lot of fuel. It’s important to only keep your oven or stove on for the amount of time you need to use it, and to ensure your kitchen is properly ventilated to clear out the deadly gas as it is generated.
Gas and oil-burning furnaces also generate carbon monoxide, which can be pumped throughout your home. A cracked heat exchanger on your furnace can also cause CO levels to climb.
Burning wood in a fireplace can also quickly lead to a buildup of CO in your home if the flue isn’t fully opened and your home isn’t properly ventilated.
This question is one that too few people ask. Gas appliances are prevalent in homes and businesses across the nation, so it’s important to take some time to educate yourself about the potential dangers of using these appliances.
First and foremost, you should consider installing a carbon monoxide detector to keep an eye on the levels of CO in your home. If you don’t track the levels of CO present, you and your family may experience carbon monoxide poisining, which typically includes signs such as:
The more prevalent these signs become, the more danger you will be if carbon monoxide poisoning is in your system, so it’s important to seek medical help quickly as the symptoms can escalate quickly.
Never let your guard down when it comes to carbon monoxide in the home or office. The best thing you could purchase for you and your loved ones is a carbon monoxide monitor. And, if your home or office has more gas appliances than not, take the time to monitor them yourself regularly.
Carbon monoxide is a cause for concern when average levels are 6 parts per million or higher, and can be extremely dangerous when it reaches 25ppm—immediate action should be taken at this point.
AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning is proud to offer air quality tests for homes in the San Marcos area—these tests can measure the levels of CO in your home, and our experts can help identify potential sources for these leaks so they can be remedied as quickly as possible. If your heating and cooling system is the culprit, our technicians can help repair your system to help ensure your safety.