Here’s What You Should Know about Carbon Monoxide

Are you up-to-date on carbon monoxide leak prevention? If leaks do occur in your home or where you work, are you and everyone else prepared to take immediate action?

If not you should read on. Carbon monoxide leaks—and the dangerous poisoning they can cause—are not a threat to be taken lightly.

Sources of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Wherever gas, oil or propane are used as fuel, the odorless, colorless gas known as carbon monoxide will be produced. Its presence in the environment around you is not necessary dangerous, unless it becomes concentrated above a certain level—which can happen if carbon monoxide collects indoors, where existing ventilation may not be able to dilute it effectively.

HVAC equipment such as furnaces and boilers fueled by gas or oil produce a significant amount of carbon monoxide, as do gas stoves and gas water heaters. All have built-in venting that is supposed to eliminate any health threat, but if the venting system leaks or otherwise malfunctions, cases of carbon monoxide poisoning could occur relatively quickly.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Exposure

The symptoms of excessive carbon monoxide exposure are a little different than other types of poisoning. Because it interferes with oxygen absorption carbon monoxide essentially smothers or chokes you into unconsciousness, so slowly you may not be aware of what is happening until it is too late.

As you gradually succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning, you may feel dizzy or drowsy, suffer from nausea, develop a headache, start to struggle with your breathing or find it increasingly difficult to focus. Death can result from continued exposure, so when these symptoms are experienced—and no other obvious cause is evident—you should leave the building immediately.

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

If carbon monoxide is around you absolutely have to purchase and install one or more carbon monoxide detectors. A detector should be placed near every indoor appliance that could potentially develop a carbon monoxide leak, and each detector should be tested often to make sure it’s batteries are still providing adequate power.

It is important to recognize that carbon monoxide detectors occasionally miss small, steady leaks, so having them around does not offer 100 percent protection in every circumstance.

Regular maintenance of your HVAC equipment, gas stove or other appliances that use fossil fuels can help reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning substantially. HVAC technicians who specialize in repair and maintenance should be aware of the carbon monoxide risk and should be able to catch any signs that might indicate a leakage is imminent.

Carbon Monoxide Leak Plan of Action

Should a carbon monoxide detector go off in your home or business, or if people are showing clear signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, take the following steps:

  • Evacuate the building in an orderly fashion, using pre-planned routes of escape.
  • Instruct everyone to leave doors open and to open any windows they pass by on the way out.
  • If you can gain access to gas or oil lines without coming too close to the suspected source of the leak, shut them off before leaving.
  • If electric power is also being supplied to your gas- or oil-burning appliances cut it off at the circuit breaker.
  • Call your HVAC contractor and/or your gas company to let them know you have a carbon monoxide emergency. They will know what to do.
  • Call 911 if anyone is showing signs of grave illness.
  • Steps three and four should only be attempted if you are certain it is safe to proceed. If you fear the situation is already out of hand just go and let the gas company take care of everything later.

Let Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning Help Keep You Safe

If you live in Bartlett or any other nearby community, please contact Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning about your HVAC system and its maintenance needs. Our trained technicians understand the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, and for your convenience we offer generous HVAC maintenance agreements that deliver thorough inspections, cleanings and tune-ups on a regular basis. This is your best antidote to the risk of carbon monoxide leakage, along with any other kind of breakdown that could cost you big money or big trouble if not caught in the early stages.

Please, call Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning today to find out more about our top-notch professional HVAC maintenance services.

Tips For Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Your Home

Over 40 people each year are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, with several hundred more injured. The colorless and odorless gas can be released from water heaters, gas central heating, wood burning stoves and space heaters. However, there are steps you can and should take to prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home.

Firstly, in addition to smoke alarms, you should have at least one carbon monoxide alarm on each floor of your home, and this simple step is one of the most important ones in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning. These should be placed close to bedrooms, and the batteries checked regularly. You should also have your central heating system inspected regularly by a qualified professional, as well as your appliances, vents and chimneys. Vents should be inspected for stains, corrosion or rust and should be kept open and free of obstructions.

Grills designed to be used outdoors should never be used inside your home, nor should generators. Space heaters should be monitored when being used, and used only in a well ventilated area, with the appropriate fuel. If you use a wood burning stove, you should not burn anything other than wood in it, and it should always be placed on an approved board to help prevent stray embers or ash. Any gas appliances in your home should be serviced on a regular basis, and you should never use your gas oven to heat your kitchen or your home. Some paint remover contains methylene chloride, which can become carbon monoxide when the fumes are ingested; use this type of paint remover with great care.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include nausea, fatigue, irregular breathing and dizziness and if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, the first step is to immediately leave the building or vehicle. You should also seek medical treatment, which may include wearing a mask for oxygen therapy. We have many more useful and informative tips designed to protect you and your family, and to lower your energy bills.

Follow  our blog for more information on heating, cooling, and keeping your home energy efficient.

What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a dangerous gas that can kill you if you inhale it. This gas is usually found in fumes produced from the burning process. Furnaces, fireplaces, stoves and lanterns produce carbon monoxide. This gas is also produced when you burn fuel in cars, trucks, power generators and small engines.

People at risk of CO poisoning
Most people are at risk of CO poisoning because many appliances used in the home may leak carbon monoxide when they malfunction. Some of these appliances are your gas cooker and your refrigerator. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless so it can build up indoors and poison people and domestic animals. Infants and elderly people are particularly at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. People with anemia, heart disease or breathing problems are also at high risk of CO poisoning.

How to prevent CO poisoning in your home
You can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by taking a few sensible precautions. Install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home make sure it works properly. Ensure that your chimney is properly cleaned every year. If your chimneys are blocked by debris, this may lead to a buildup of CO in your home or cabin. Avoid using portable chemical heaters indoors and never burn charcoal indoors. Do not use portable gas stoves indoors and never use a generator inside your house, garage or basement.

How to prevent CO poisoning from cars or trucks
Do not ignore a small leak in the exhaust of your car or truck. This can lead to a buildup of CO inside the vehicle and may poison you and other people in the car. If your garage is attached to your house, do not run your car in the garage because CO may flow into nearby rooms.

Seek professional assistance
You are not a professional at preventing CO poisoning so it makes sense to consult professionals to do this for you. Ensure that your gas appliances are serviced by a professional technician twice a year. You should also have your air conditioning and heating systems serviced by qualified and competent technicians.
Final word
Carbon monoxide poisoning is one risk you do not have to take. Get in touch with us for all your heating and air conditioning needs and we will give you the perfect solution.

Where Should I Place My Carbon Monoxide Detectors? Bartlett Heating and Air Has the Answer

It is officially furnace season here in Illinois. With that comes the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home. While your furnace is a great tool to warm your home, it also produces some harmful gasses in the process to do so. One of these gasses is carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless and deadly if not caught in time. It is very important that you are prepared with carbon monoxide detectors in your home just as you would have a fire alarm in your home. Carbon monoxide detector placement is very important. You want to have them where your family spends the most time. You want to have more than one in your home. Here are the best places to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. You should have one by every sleeping area that is used in your home. You would think that it would be a good idea to place the detector by one of the appliances that would leak carbon monoxide like furnaces, stoves, water heaters, and fireplaces but it is not a good idea. They can leak harmless trace amounts at times which will set the alarms off when there is no emergency. Having your appliances and especially your furnace installed by a certified technician will help keep the carbon monoxide contained. You should also make sure you are getting your furnace maintained each fall. This will check your furnace for carbon monoxide leaks and also clean it to make sure that it is running at its highest efficiency. If you only have one carbon monoxide detector, go out and get more. You should have one for each bedroom and then one in any room that is heavily used. This is very important so make sure you do this soon. Call Bartlett Heating and Air for your annual furnace clean and check if you have not had it this fall.

What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas. It is usually found in the fumes produced by vehicles, lanterns, home heating systems, and stoves. CO is also produced when people burn wood or charcoal. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to sudden death or illness.

CO poisoning symptoms

The most common carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms include chest pain, vomiting, weakness, headache, and nausea. People who do not recognize these symptoms and seek fresh air lose consciousness and eventually die. The problem with CO poisoning is it is not easy to diagnose, which means a sleeping or intoxicated person may never realize they are practically dying.

Overview of CO poisoning

The body’s red blood cells tend to absorb carbon monoxide faster than oxygen. In a CO rich environment, the body may replace oxygen with this odorless but lethal gas. As a result, the body is starved of oxygen leading to tissue damage and death. Moreover, proteins in body tissues can absorb CO causing serious damage to affected tissues.

People and animals at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anyone including animals can succumb to CO poisoning. However, babies, chronic heart disease patients, senior citizens (65 years and older), and people with respiratory health problems are more susceptible to CO poisoning.

Tips on preventing CO poisoning at home

To ensure you or loved ones do not succumb to CO poisoning, you should hire a qualified technician to service/repair your HVAC system. The rule of thumb is to have your home heating system serviced at least once annually. Secondly, do not use catalytic heaters indoors. Remember these heaters burn gas making it easy for CO to build up inside you house. Thirdly, only purchase gas burners/heaters that have a national testing agency seal such as CSA Group.

How to prevent CO poisoning in your vehicle

Firstly, do not leave your car running inside a closed garage. Secondly, hire a mechanic to check your car’s exhaust system every year. Thirdly, keep the windows open when driving a vehicle with a tailgate.

In conclusion, carbon monoxide poisoning can affect people of all ages as well as animals. To avoid you or a loved one becoming a victim, do not use flameless heaters at home or leave your car running in an enclosed space. Finally, Call Us for all your HVAC needs.