Carbon monoxide can lurk in your home and cause dangerous—and even deadly—consequences. It’s a gas you can’t see or smell, making it even more difficult to detect and correct. Fortunately, these carbon monoxide safety tips from Sabre Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning make it easy to keep your home and family safe from potential gas leaks.
A Closer Look at Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced by the incomplete burning of any carbon-containing material—wood, gasoline, natural gas, propane, or coal. If you don’t properly ventilate your heating system, it can circulate CO through the home.
Exposure to CO at lower concentrations causes symptoms such as headaches, weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. At higher concentrations, CO poisoning causes loss of consciousness and even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), accidental CO poisoning claims at least 430 lives and causes approximately 50,000 people in the U. S. to visit the emergency room every year.
Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips
- Schedule Regular Maintenance
Have a qualified technician perform routine maintenance on your furnace, water heater, and any other gas-, coal-, oil-, or wood-burning appliances once a year. This service not only prolongs the life of your equipment, but it ensures that every component of your system is clean and functioning properly. You may even want to consider enrolling in a maintenance program—it takes the hassle out of remembering to schedule an appointment and saves you money on regular maintenance costs.
- Keep Vents Clean and Clear
With proper ventilation in your heating system, CO is a fuel-burning byproduct that’s safely emitted into the air. That’s why it’s so important to make sure vents for your furnace, stove, dryer, and fireplace are free of obstructions. Additionally, if you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, always keep it clean. Make sure the flue works properly and stays open until a fire completely burns out.
- Install and Maintain CO Alarms
Because all homes have a furnace, fireplace, or other fuel-burning appliance, CO alarms are an inexpensive must-have. Install one at every level like you would a smoke detector, including your basement and near bedrooms. Maintain your CO alarms regularly, too—test the system’s battery backup unit and replace batteries every six months.
Stay Safe and Comfortable All Season Long With Sabre
Follow these carbon monoxide safety tips and maintain safe, comfortable air all year long with help from Sabre. As Bryant® heating and cooling experts, we’ve been proudly serving Greater Twin Cities residents with all aspects of home comfort, from air quality and radiant heating to plumbing installation and repair. Call us today at 763-473-2267 or contact us online.