Your home should be a safe place for you and your family — the safest. But even with a sturdy structure, a good alarm system, and other precautions, there could still be one threat that lurks within your home: carbon monoxide. Each year, carbon monoxide poisoning leads to deaths of up to 500 people in the United States. It’s odorless, colorless, and tasteless, which makes it incredibly difficult to detect. But the more you know about carbon monoxide — where to find it and how to protect your home from it — the safer you’ll be.
Here at Service Champions, we’re committed to not just great heating and cooling but home safety to our customers. Thus, we’ve compiled this guide of what you need to know about carbon monoxide:
What Causes Carbon Monoxide to Form?
Carbon monoxide is a natural result of fire burning in an enclosed space. The existence of fire reduces the amount of oxygen in a space and increases the amount of carbon dioxide. The changing levels of gas in turn affects the combustion process and creates carbon monoxide. For this reason, gas stoves and ovens, furnaces, blocked chimneys, or any space with heating and poor ventilation can cause an increase in carbon monoxide.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
When your body takes in oxygen, that oxygen binds to a protein called hemoglobin, which transfers the oxygen to your red blood cells. However, when carbon monoxide is in the air, the hemoglobin is more likely to bind to it instead, which reduces the amount of oxygen your body receives. Symptoms of carbon monoxide depend on the amount of carbon monoxide in the air, as well as long it’s been in the air, but can include:
- nausea and vomiting
- shortness of breath
- loss of consciousness
If you think you may be in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, the most important thing is to get out of the house and go somewhere with fresh air. From there, call 911.
How to Detect and Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide can be difficult to detect because of its lack of distinctive features. It’s not likely to be picked up by a meter outside your home. Fortunately, there are carbon monoxide detectors that you can purchase in order to pick up on carbon monoxide before it becomes too pervasive of a problem. These detectors have a lifespan of about 6 years, so if you already have one, make sure it doesn’t need to be replaced.
You can also catch carbon monoxide issues early by having regular tune-ups done for your furnaces, heat pumps, water heaters, etc. These tune-ups will ensure that everything is running properly, that there is sufficient ventilation, and that you’re not in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. At Service Champions, our tune-ups are always thorough, taking between 60-90 minutes to inspect and analyze all elements of the system. When you sign up for our MVP membership, annual furnace tune-ups are included in your package.
Since ventilation is often the solution, the problem may be in your ducts. That’s why Service Champions offers duct cleaning and repair and a number of services to boost your indoor air quality. Finally, because the issue sometimes boils down to a defective or outdated furnace or heating system, you can upgrade to a safer and more efficient furnace with our expert furnace installation.
Carbon monoxide is a serious issue, but with the right information and the right HVAC experts at your side, you can keep your home as safe as it is comfortable. Contact Service Champions today for more information or to schedule an installation or tune-up.