Why Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Starts With Your Home Heating System

Water heater repair

The majority of home heating systems that aren’t powered by solar energy, geothermal energy, or electricity, will produce carbon monoxide when they run. This includes everything from gas water heaters and gas furnaces, to small space heaters that run on oil.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas produced from burning certain fossil fuels, and its danger comes from the fact that it’s a tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas. In other words, a normal person is absolutely unable to detect carbon monoxide in the air, even when the physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning start to appear.

The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are quite similar to the flu or a harmless virus: feeling nauseous, dizzy, and weak, are all signs of poisoning; unlike a normal virus, these symptoms will appear very abruptly and can escalate very quickly.

If you suspect that you’ve been breathing in carbon monoxide, the most important thing to do is to get into an open area with fresh air — and yes, this might mean that you have to go out into the freezing cold. Second, it’s a good idea to head to the closest hospital ER and get checked out. Blood tests will be able to determine if you’ve been exposed to carbon monoxide, and medical professionals will be able to assess how serious the poisoning is.

And when it comes to creating a safe environment and taking preventative measures to protect yourself against carbon monoxide poisoning, it’s important to install a special detector (ideally on every floor of your house), to keep gas-burning appliances like gas grills and outdoor space heaters (not the space heaters that plug into electrical outlets) outside, and to make sure that your home heating system is running properly.

If you’re not sure where to start, simply look up your local HVAC repair services and ask if you can have your heating system inspected. These experts will be able to make sure that the system has proper ventilation, that there aren’t any leaks in the ducts, and that the main furnace isn’t emitting excess fumes due to malfunctioning parts. For more information see this.

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