Avoiding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Can Be Simple When Armed With The Right Information

Accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning causes more than 450 deaths and 15,000 injuries each year, many while victims are asleep in their home. Because carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, it can often go unnoticed in many homes.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Areas of potential carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide is the byproduct of any gas combustible. Water heaters, gas furnaces, kerosene stoves, a gas range, all produce carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when there is incomplete combustion. Even exhaust from cars produce a significant amount of carbon monoxide so make sure it is isn’t running idle in an enclosed space.

Here are a few notes to keep in mind:

  • An annual furnace inspection is critical because it can push carbon monoxide through the air vents inside your house. Inspecting the entire exhaust vent system is something that we provide on a heating maintenance visit. We can also provide a combustion analysis of your heat exchanger which will provide a benchmark for what is normal.
  • Visible signs such as flame impingement or discoloration around your water heater can often provide a sign. If something seems out of normal, have it inspected by one of our licensed technicians.
  • Local city building codes now require that we install new carbon monoxide alarms with new furnace installations. If your carbon monoxide does go off, get to fresh air as soon as possible. Fresh air will allow the oxygen in your body to dilute the poisoning from the carbon monoxide. Keep these alarms stocked with fresh batteries every spring and fall!
  • The common signs of CO poisoning, which include headache, fatigue, nausea, and dizziness. Knowing this can arm with you the critical information needed to make a quicker decision instead of staying inside your home.

If your carbon monoxide alarms sounds, make sure to get to fresh air as soon as possible and call 911. It is also wise to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

The following information is from the CDC:

red blood cells and carbon monoxide

Red blood cells and the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning

How does Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Work?

Red blood cells pick up CO quicker than they pick up oxygen. If there is a lot of CO in the air, the body may replace oxygen in blood with CO. This blocks oxygen from getting into the body, which can damage tissues and result in death. CO can also combine with proteins in tissues, destroying the tissues and causing injury and death.

How do I vent my gas appliances properly?

  • All gas appliances must be vented so that CO will not build up in your home, cabin, or camper.
  • Never burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented.
  • Have your chimney checked or cleaned every year. Chimneys can be blocked by debris. This can cause CO to build up inside your home or cabin.
  • Never patch a vent pipe with tape, gum, or something else. This kind of patch can make CO build up in your home, cabin, or camper.
  • Horizontal vent pipes to fuel appliances should not be perfectly level. Indoor vent pipes should go up slightly as they go toward outdoors. This helps prevent CO or other gases from leaking if the joints or pipes aren’t fitted tightly.
Venting Diagram to avoid carbon monoxide

Venting Diagram To Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Content Sources:

Consumer Reports

Center For Disease Control

8 Comments

  1. Wonderful Blog.Thank you for giving me such a important news.

    *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service cleantalk.org. ***

  2. Wonderful Blog. Thank you for giving me such a important news.

    *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service cleantalk.org. ***

  3. When I’m servicing a customers heating and air system–the question that I get asked the most is how often they should have routine maintenance. The answer is –twice a year. One visit for air conditioning and one visit for heating. You should have both checked before you need to use them. Preferably early spring and early fall. I consider heating inspections to be more important because there are dangers from fire and carbon monoxide inhalation. Air conditioner and furnace inspections are also very important because of the cost involved in operating and replacing these systems. If there are loose wires, bad parts, dirty coils, dirty filters, low freon etc. The heating and air system may still operate with the above mentioned problems in low load conditions. but when it gets warmer or colder outside it is likely that the units will break down or not be able to keep up. Not to mention–a lot of energy is being wasted from months of operating that way and it’s also putting a very heavy strain on the systems major parts. Straining your heating and air equipment by operating it in such conditions will shorten its life span and cost you money over the long run. Just one loose wire or not changing your air filter can potentially cost you thousands of dollars and leave you without heating or air conditioning for several days. More at http://www.procoolheatingandair.com located in Marietta, GA

    • Thanks for the additional comments. You are totally right, maintenance is incredibly
      important for the longevity of heating and cooling systems.

  4. Wonderful Blog.Thank you for giving me such a important news.

    *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service cleantalk.org. ***

  5. When I’m servicing a customers heating and air system–the question that I get asked the most is how often they should have routine maintenance. The answer is –twice a year. One visit for air conditioning and one visit for heating. You should have both checked before you need to use them. Preferably early spring and early fall. I consider heating inspections to be more important because there are dangers from fire and carbon monoxide inhalation. Air conditioner and furnace inspections are also very important because of the cost involved in operating and replacing these systems. If there are loose wires, bad parts, dirty coils, dirty filters, low freon etc. The heating and air system may still operate with the above mentioned problems in low load conditions. but when it gets warmer or colder outside it is likely that the units will break down or not be able to keep up. Not to mention–a lot of energy is being wasted from months of operating that way and it’s also putting a very heavy strain on the systems major parts. Straining your heating and air equipment by operating it in such conditions will shorten its life span and cost you money over the long run. Just one loose wire or not changing your air filter can potentially cost you thousands of dollars and leave you without heating or air conditioning for several days. More at http://www.procoolheatingandair.com located in Marietta, GA

    • Thanks for the additional comments. You are totally right, maintenance is incredibly
      important for the longevity of heating and cooling systems.

  6. Wonderful Blog. Thank you for giving me such a important news.

    *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service cleantalk.org. ***

Comments are closed.