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A Guide to Carbon Monoxide as Winter Approaches

carbon monoxide poisoning

The risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in homes increases during the winter months. People often forget about the hazard during the summer, but CO leaks are life-threatening. Anything in your home that uses gas, such as your furnace, clothes dryers, ovens, or water heaters, has CO leak potential.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas.  This makes it hard to detect without the help of a functional carbon monoxide detector. It is deadly, and protecting your loved ones is one of the most important things you can do, and it is relatively simple.

The most important means of protection is installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home. There are also signs to be on the lookout for if you suspect carbon monoxide is leaking into your home. We also have some tips to help you lower your risk of poisoning.

You can keep your family safe when you know what to look for and how to protect them.

Where Does Carbon Monoxide Come From?

When carbon-based fuels such as gas, oil, kerosene, or wood burn, they produce gas. When these fuels do not burn completely, they emit carbon monoxide. This can occur with many household appliances. It is important to ensure your gas-powered furnace, water heater, or boiler are installed correctly. Call G & R Heating and Air to come each year and make sure your furnace or boiler is maintained properly. If they are not working correctly, it can put you and your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Hazards in the Home

Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur if you use gas appliances that have not been installed properly, are not maintained regularly, or have any faulty components. In the winter, cracked heat exchangers in gas furnaces are a potential carbon monoxide hazard, as the cracks allow combustion byproducts to seep out of the formerly closed system. In good condition, these byproducts safely vent out of your home.

The best way to keep your family safe is to check your carbon monoxide detectors and ensure your gas appliances are in good condition. An annual furnace tune up, by a licensed and trained professional, is the best way to ensure your system is ready for the demands of winter without posing a threat to you and your family.

Signs of a Carbon Monoxide HVAC Leak

A common source of CO leaks in a home is due to a faulty heating system, such as a furnace or boiler. This can cause CO gas to leak into your home before completing the combustion process.

Carbon monoxide can leak from other areas in your home, not just the furnace or heating system. If you notice any of these issues with your furnace, leave your home and call G & R Heating and Air to see if the leak is due to a faulty heating system:

  • Cracks in the combustion chamber
  • Older furnaces with signs of wear and tear
  • Leaky seams on furnaces and boilers
  • Cracks in the exhaust piping
  • A pilot light that frequently blows out
  • Yellow burner flame instead of the clear blue flame
  • Stale, smelly, or stuffy air
  • Brownish-yellow or sooty stains around leaking appliances

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms

Various levels of carbon monoxide can cause different symptoms.  If anyone in your household experiences these symptoms, evacuate the home immediately and call 911.

CO levels graphic

Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips to Prevent Poisoning

Schedule regular heating maintenance in Gilberts and the surrounding suburbs on your furnace to prevent CO poisoning in your house. G & R Heating and Air offers preventive maintenance plans so you can experience peace of mind day and night.

Routine maintenance calls detect any damage and locate potential problems which lead to CO leaks. Keep your home healthy and carbon monoxide free with our help at G & R Heating and Air.

Another way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is to install CO detectors and check them periodically to verify they are working properly. Carbon monoxide detectors emit a signal alerting you when CO is present in your home. Make sure you check the batteries on your CO detector every month and perform a safety test to make sure the alarm is working correctly.

Prevent Carbon Monoxide HVAC Leaks with Help from G & R Heating and Air

G & R Heating and Air wants to keep your family safe when using your furnace this winter. Turn to our licensed and certified technicians for annual maintenance to ensure heating system components are in good working order and not a safety risk when in use. If you suspect furnace malfunctions, contact us for quick and reliable furnace repair.

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