Cold temperatures lead homeowners to secure their homes and crank up the thermostat, expanding the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) exposure. About 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency room every year as a result of unintended CO poisoning, and more than 400 people die.
This odorless, tasteless, colorless gas is a result of incomplete combustion, which means it’s created each time a material is combusted or used for fuel. If the appliances in your home rely on natural gas, oil, propane, kerosene, wood, gasoline or charcoal, you’re vulnerable to CO poisoning. Find out what happens when you breathe in carbon monoxide emissions and how to lower your risk of exposure this winter.
Commonly called the “silent killer,” carbon monoxide is lethal because it prevents the body from processing oxygen properly. CO molecules dislodge oxygen that’s part of the blood, depriving the heart, brain, lungs and other vital organs of oxygen. Large amounts of CO can overwhelm your system in minutes, triggering loss of consciousness and suffocation. Without immediate care, brain damage or death can occur.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can also occur slowly if the concentration is relatively modest. The most common signs of CO exposure include:
Since these symptoms resemble the flu, a lot of people don’t learn they have carbon monoxide poisoning until moderate symptoms progress to organ damage. Look out for symptoms that decrease when you leave the house, suggesting the source might be somewhere inside.
While CO exposure is frightening, it’s also entirely preventable. Here are the ideal ways to protect your family from carbon monoxide exposure.
If you ever use combustion appliances in or close to your home, you should add carbon monoxide detectors to notify you of CO emissions. These alarms can be hardwired, battery-operated or plugged into an outlet according to the style. Here’s how to make the most of your carbon monoxide detectors:
Several appliances, including furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces and clothes dryers, could leak carbon monoxide if the equipment is installed poorly or not performing as it should. A once-a-year maintenance visit is the only way to ensure if an appliance is faulty before a leak appears.
A precision tune-up from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing consists of the following:
If your gas furnace, boiler or water heater has formed a CO leak, or you want to thwart leaks before they happen, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help. Our HVAC and plumbing maintenance and repair services promote a safe, warm home all year-round. Get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office for more info about carbon monoxide safety or to ask for heating services.
By Brian Sodoma, for Service Experts With autumn coming soon, homeowners will soon be planning for the winter months ahead. Cold weather puts new demands on your heating system. To prepare your furnace for the heavy work it will soon be taking on, routine HVAC maintenance should be on your fall... Continue reading
The workplace is the main source of exposure to potentially harmful substances and pollutants – mainly air pollution, toxic chemicals and dust. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are 3.2 million deaths worldwide have been attributed to airborne pollution in the past 10... Continue reading
As we enter the colder season with covid-19 still lingering here in Ontario, you must do everything you can to protect your business along with your employees and the important assets that help make your business run. Service Experts commercial HVAC has created a list to provide clients with... Continue reading
© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.