According to the CDC, carbon monoxide (CO) claims the lives over 400 people in the United States every year. Additionally, over 4,000 individuals are sent to the hospital annually with CO poisoning. Carbon monoxide can build up in the home from gas ranges, furnaces, fireplaces, and it’s also produced any time fuel is burned in cars, generators, lanterns and more. This is why is so essential to arm yourself with as much information as possible about this “silent killer,” so you can ensure you and your family are safe in your home.
5 Carbon Monoxide Facts You Should Know
Everyone is at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning, although children and those with chronic conditions like heart disease and breathing problems are more likely to feel the effects. Here are five facts about carbon monoxide to help educate you about this dangerous, poisonous gas:
- You cannot smell or taste carbon monoxide. CO is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that cannot be noticed without a detector. This makes it especially dangerous, because if you’re sleeping, for instance, you would not notice its effects until it’s too late. If someone says they can smell carbon monoxide, it’s often some other combustible byproducts – and this should also be addressed immediately.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms feel like the flu. If you and your family suddenly feel ill all at the same time, this should not be ignored. When everyone is experiencing simultaneous symptoms like headaches, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, difficulty breathing or blurred vision, these could actually be signs of CO poisoning, not the flu.
- Your appliances can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Your appliances should always be installed by a trained professional. Why? Well, gas appliances, in general, need to be properly vented to ensure no carbon monoxide is leaking into your home.
- You can reduce your risk of CO poisoning with a CO detector. Installing carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home can greatly reduce the risk of CO poisoning in your home. These detectors are designed to set off an alarm before life-threatening levels of carbon monoxide are reached inside, allowing you and your family to safely get outside as quickly as possible. Make sure to change the batteries every few months to ensure the detectors are in proper working order.
- An annual furnace check is key to keeping your home clear of CO. Scheduling an annual furnace check by a professional technician is important to reduce the risk of CO poisoning. The technician will ensure all components are working correctly and that the system is properly ventilated.
If you have any questions about how to keep your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning with an annual furnace check, the team at Efficient Heating and Cooling is ready to help! If you’re in the greater Cleveland area, contact our team today! Or, give us a call at 216-663-6462.