There’s a silent killer lurking in your home that’s waiting to strike when you least expect it. The killer is impossible to detect by yourself because it’s colorless and odorless. We’re talking about carbon monoxide (CO). With cold weather already here, people are running their furnace and other heaters more and more, increasing the risk for CO poisoning.
Yet despite increased awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide in the home, it’s estimated around 500 people die from CO poisoning every year and 15,000 more have to go to the emergency room – they are the lucky ones.
What you should know about CO poisoning
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), symptoms of CO poisoning include: headache, dizziness, weakness, chest pain, vomiting and upset stomach. These symptoms sound a lot like the flu, which is one reason CO is so dangerous. Many people think they caught the flu.
One way to tell the difference is simply by taking your temperature. With the flu, your temperature will be above 100 degrees fahrenheit. CO poisoning has no effect on your body’s temperature. Another way to tell the difference is that multiple people in your house will be experiencing the same symptoms. Finally, symptoms of CO poisoning get progressively worse in a short amount of time. Confusion will often set in. CO is particularly dangerous when house occupants are sleeping, unaware that they’re being poisoned.
What’s the best way to know if your house has CO?
Buy a couple of CO detectors and put them outside of each sleeping area in your home. These detectors work the same way as a smoke detector, by making a loud, unmistakable sound when it detects CO. Make sure your CO detectors have a battery backup. And most importantly, test/change the batteries regularly. If your CO detector does go off, get out of your house immediately and call the fire department. Even if it turns out to be a false alarm, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Carbon monoxide is produced by fuel-burning devices that aren’t properly ventilated. One of the most common sources of CO is the furnace that is not properly ventilated.
Prevention will save you money, and possibly your life
All this talk about CO poisoning leads to the biggest take-away of this post: have your furnace inspected twice per year. A licensed HVAC technician is highly trained to look for potential warning signs that your furnace may be a CO risk. They can even test your air duct system for CO buildup before it begins to leak into your living spaces. Further, technicians can remedy the problem the same day, giving you peace of mind that your furnace will operate normally and is safe.
Don’t wait…call us today!
If it has been a while since your furnace has had an inspection, don’t wait any longer. Your life may depend on you getting your furnace inspected and maintained. Our HVAC technicians are the best in the business, so you can feel confident knowing that you’re getting the best service in the South Jersey area.