It Attacks Before You Even Know It’s There!
As a harmful gas that has no smell, or taste and is invisible to the naked eye, carbon monoxide can catch you and your family unaware if you’re not familiar with its dangers. It’s so deadly because it often strikes before you even know it’s there.
Carbon monoxide exposure is a serious issue, but the good news is it’s easily preventable. Below is some important information on ways you can protect yourself from this “silent killer.”
1. How to Know If You’ve Been Exposed to Carbon Monoxide
What makes carbon monoxide so dangerous is how it affects our bodies. The gas is absorbed by the body’s red blood cells, thus depriving our body’s tissues and organs of the oxygen they need.
When this happens, a person can experience a number of symptoms, including nausea, confusion, blurred vision, dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches and fatigue. Prolonged exposure or concentrated doses of the gas can also cause one to lose consciousness or even die. The lack of immediate treatment can even cause irreversible damage to the heart and brain.
2. Keep the garage door open when running your car
A car’s exhaust gives off carbon monoxide, so you never want to run your car inside the garage while the door is closed. One thing you can do is open the garage door before you crank the car. You can also pull your car all the way out of the garage before you warm it up, but if you do this make sure the garage door is closed.
3. Make sure you have adequate ventilation when burning fuels indoors
In the event of power loss caused by winter storms, people have been known to fire up fuel powered devices such as their grills as a heat source. However, this can be fatal when it leads to an accumulation of carbon monoxide. Such loss of life can be easily prevented by taking the necessary steps to protect oneself. If you must burn any type of fuel indoors, first make sure that the room has adequate ventilation. Even when using these fuel-powered devices outdoors it is always a good idea to make sure you are far enough away from all doors, windows and air vents that fumes can’t drift in.
4. Keep your furnace and boiler in proper working order
An improperly functioning burner on a furnace or boiler can turn into a source of dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. The gas can also enter the home through your furnace’s leaky exhaust or heat exchanger. For this reason, it is important to regularly maintain your furnace as one way to keep carbon monoxide from building up in the home.
It is also important that you keep the area around the furnace, as well as its air intakes and exhaust vents, completely clear of clutter. That way, your furnace will have a sufficient amount of air to facilitate complete combustion, which will in turn burn off the carbon monoxide.
5. Install carbon monoxide detectors and replace as needed
After ensuring the proper functioning and ventilation of our heating equipment to prevent carbon monoxide accumulation, the next step is to install working carbon monoxide detectors in the correct locations of your home. These should be installed in areas close to your heating equipment and in corridors outside of bedrooms. You should also make a point to test your detectors at least once a year and plan to replace them every five to seven years, or whenever the end-of-life indicator light triggers, whichever comes first.
If in the event your carbon monoxide detector alarm does go off, head immediately to safety and call for help. Take your carbon monoxide alarm seriously!
Your comfort and safety are our primary concerns at Eanes Heating and Air. Should you ever have any worries about the presence of carbon monoxide in the home, and you live in High Point, Greensboro or Winston-Salem and the surrounding areas, give us a call and we’ll make sure you are protected.