Furnace Safety – What You Need To Know About A Carbon Monoxide Leak

Furnace Safety – What You Need To Know About A Carbon Monoxide Leak

A carbon monoxide leak can be incredibly difficult to find. There’s a reason why a carbon monoxide leak is often referred to as a “silent killer”. Carbon monoxide is a gas that doesn’t have a smell, color, or taste, which can make it almost impossible to detect.

Where is a carbon monoxide leak most likely to occur?

A home carbon monoxide leak most often originates from a fireplace, gas range stove, and poorly maintained furnaces. What’s worse is that you may not even notice a carbon monoxide leak immediately, it may just slowly poison you and your household (including your pets), if you continuously breathe it in. This inhalation leads to carbon monoxide poisoning.

What is carbon monoxide poisoning?

As you breathe in carbon monoxide, the gas inhibits your blood’s ability to carry oxygen throughout your body. Because your body isn’t able to receive the oxygen that it needs to survive, you can suffer from asphyxiation. There are a few symptoms to look out for if you’re concerned that you may be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Disorientation
  • Impaired judgement
  • Difficulty walking
  • Coma
  • Vision trouble
  • Disease of the heart and respiratory systems
  • Muscle weakness and cramping
  • Nausea
  • Aggravation of preexisting disease

If you believe your symptoms are related to a carbon monoxide leak, turn off the gas supply to your home, get to fresh air immediately outside of your home, and call 911.

Dos And Don’ts When it comes to preventing a carbon monoxide leak and how to prevent carbon monoxide exposure

Do…

  • Have your furnace, HVAC system, water heater, and any other gas appliance serviced by an experienced technician each year
  • Install at least 1 battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home, preferably 1 per floor. Replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide leak detector every spring and fall.
  • Seek medical care ASAP if you think you’ve been exposed to CO

Don’t…

  • Use a standby generator, camp stove, or gas burning device inside of your home, basement, garage, or near the windows of your house.
  • Run your vehicle inside the garage of your home, even if the garage door is open.
  • Heat your home using a gas oven
  • Burn anything inside of a stove or fireplace that doesn’t have a vent

A carbon monoxide leak and poisoning are issues that can easily be avoided. Carbon monoxide inside of your home typically comes from faulty furnaces, water heaters, stoves, and fireplaces. Hire an experienced HVAC technician, like A-Abel, to inspect and clean your furnace and HVAC system each year. Not only will this routine keep your furnace working efficiently, it can also save you money and keep your family safe from a carbon monoxide leak and poisoning.

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