The leading season for deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning is winter, making it extra important to check your monitors now. A monthly test of your units is also advisable to ensure that continuing protection is provided. If you find that a unit is malfunctioning, it’s important to correct the issue right away so that your family isn’t unnecessarily at risk of poisoning.
What Are the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Because the gas is invisible and lacks any odor, it can reach high levels of concentration without being noticed. The concentration of the gas and the length of exposure can play a role in the intensity of symptoms. These may include:
- Rapid breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Chest pain
Personality changes, severe mood swings, clumsiness and a rapid heartbeat can also serve as signs of exposure. With low-level exposure over a period of time, the symptoms may be less severe, making it difficult to pinpoint the cause. Sleep disturbances, vision issues, neurological problems and flu-like symptoms could be manifested as well.
Why Do Carbon Monoxide Levels Rise in a Home?
Carbon monoxide is emitted as organic materials are combusted. Your automobile, fireplace, grill and gas or oil heating equipment will give off the gas as they are used. A clothes dryer, gas stove, water heater or lawn mower can produce the material as well. Ventilation is critical in keeping the levels safe. This issue may be addressed through whole-home ventilation solutions, but it also depends on the integrity and use of each piece of equipment that operates via some type of combustion in or near your home.
Your heating contractor should inspect your furnace each fall to ensure optimized and safe operation. Venting components in your unit will be checked and cleaned. Additionally, residue inside your unit should be addressed. Broken or worn parts that could contribute to improper operation should be replaced as well.
Your HVAC professional can also evaluate your carbon monoxide monitors at this time. If you don’t have monitors in your home, he can recommend them based on the configuration of your structure. It’s wise to have at least one monitor on each level of your house. However, it’s better to install one in each room and in areas close to or above an attached garage. Approximately one-third of deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning take place when a victim is sleeping, making reliable alarms a critical need.
Make Your Monitors a Priority
You don’t need to wait until next fall to install your carbon monoxide monitors. Although a majority of poisoning episodes occur during the winter, the dangerous gas can be a problem at any time during the year. Brennan’s Heating & Air Conditioning can evaluate your home’s needs and recommend monitors to provide maximum protection to your loved ones. Our technicians are available to inspect your heating equipment as well if you are concerned about its safe operation. Contact our office in North Stafford, VA, for an appointment.