This is the most dangerous time of year for carbon monoxide poisoning.
We’re indoors more of the time, and we’re using our heating system more. Heating systems can be a source of carbon monoxide buildup in homes, so here’s what you need to know to protect your loved ones.
Carbon monoxide is a normal part of the combustion process inside your home’s heating system. If your furnace or boiler is working properly, the carbon monoxide generated by that combustion is contained within the heat exchanger, then vented safely out of your home.
The most common cause of heating system-related carbon monoxide leaks are cracks in the heat exchanger or flue exhaust vent. Dirty components of the heating system, like a filter, are another cause.
An annual maintenance tune-up by the knowledgeable, experienced service technicians at P. Gagnon & Son helps you prevent CO leaks like this. They carefully inspect your heating system, so problems can be discovered and fixed before they become dangerous.
The most common way that the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are described is “flu-like.” Specific symptoms include:
The best way to protect against CO buildup in your home is to install carbon monoxide detectors. They must be on every level of your home, including the basement, and outside all sleeping areas.
Inspect and test your carbon monoxide detectors and change the batteries twice a year when you change your clocks. CO detectors must be replaced every five years. If you don’t know how old your CO detector is, don’t take a chance. Replace it.
If you use propane for home heating, we strongly recommend that you install a propane gas leak detector in your home as a backup in case something like rust inside your propane tank inhibits the rotten-egg smell of propane. Propane gas leak detectors are reasonably priced and available at your local hardware or home improvement store, or online.
NEVER use a gas range or oven as supplemental heating. And NEVER use propane gas equipment such as grills or portable generators indoors, or in enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces such as garages, carports, and sunporches.
Contact us with any questions you have about carbon monoxide safety.