Carbob Monoxide Basics

Understanding Carbon Monoxide

Cooler temperatures have finally arrived, and many homeowners are beginning to retreat from the cold weather and hunker down in their homes. This means an increase in the use of home heating and fireplaces. With this increase in heating use comes the potential danger of Carbon Monoxide buildup in your home. Below we’ll show you how to keep your home safe and free from Carbon Monoxide.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, tasteless and completely invisible gas that is a natural byproduct of INCOMPLETE COMBUSTION of carbon-based materials such as wood, gasoline, natural gas, kerosene, etc. It is extremely dangerous because when inhaled, it displaces oxygen in the blood and deprives vital organs of the oxygen they need. When a high enough quantity is inhaled, the results can be fatal.

Protect Your Home and Your Family from Carbon Monoxide

Protecting your family from harmful Carbon Monoxide fumes is relatively simple:

  • Install Carbon Monoxide detectors outside of each sleeping area. You should test these detectors on a monthly or bi-monthly basis and replace the batteries regularly. Install new devices every 5-7 years to ensure proper performance.
  • Have your furnace checked by an HVAC professional. Only a professional, highly qualified technician can spot any potential problems, such as a cracked heat exchanger, which could cause Carbon Monoxide contamination.
  • If you use a fireplace, make sure the flue/chimney is working properly, so that any harmful gases will be routed outside the home. If you suspect your flue/chimney is clogged or not working properly, stop using the fireplace and call a professional.
  • Other than your furnace, never use a gas appliance to heat your home.

These simple steps will help you enjoy a warm, comfortable — and safe — heating season.

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