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During cold weather, Fairfax County residents often turn to their home’s heating system. However, many people are unaware that their heating system produces amounts of carbon monoxide and there need to be precautionary measures in place to avoid any health concerns.

Carbon Monoxide’s Effect on the Body

In the body, carbon monoxide prevents the absorption oxygen by the body. Instead, the body caries the carbon monoxide in the blood which ultimately results in cell suffocation. High levels of carbon monoxide can be deadly. Low levels of carbon monoxide can also result in serious health issues. Small children, the elderly and individuals with health issues are most likely to experience side effects of carbon monoxide which include:

  • Symptoms of the flu
  • Depression
  • Being chronically tired or fatigued

Sources of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of burning fuel. Therefore, HVAC equipment and appliances that are fuel burning are most likely to cause a problem. In order to avoid the release of carbon monoxide into the home, fuel burning appliances should be checked annually to ensure they are properly vented.

Issues with Home Heating Systems

Energy efficient homes are typically sealed tightly. While this increases the HVAC’s system efficiency, it also prevents new, clean air from entering the home. The result of this is that carbon monoxide can accumulate in the home over time, resulting in serious health issues.

Additionally, new HVAC equipment is designed to be energy efficient. However, when new equipment is vented into the existing chimney, the newly installed appliances often do not work at full efficiency, resulting in the release of carbon monoxide.

Correcting Chimney Issues

To avoid issues, chimneys should be checked annually and cleaned to ensure toxic gases have a way to exit the home. Additionally, maintaining chimneys reduces the likelihood of fire.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention

The best way to prevent issues is to install carbon monoxide detectors. Additionally, HVAC equipment and fuel burning appliances should be checked annually for proper ventilation. The fact is, carbon monoxide poisoning kills more than 200 people and injures 10,000 more every year in the United States.

For additional information on carbon monoxide detection and proper ventilation for your home, contact the experts at Brennan’s Heating & Air Conditioning today.