Carbon Monoxide Safety Reminders For This Heating Season

image of a carbon monoxide moleculeA safe and warm home should be one of your priorities during the winter season. This means that a well-maintained and fully operational heating system is essential. Heating systems are typically built tough, but that does not mean that something won’t go wrong. Your heating system burns fuel to generate heat. As with any machine that uses fuel, carbon monoxide production is inevitable. Therefore, you must be mindful of carbon monoxide (CO) and the various risks it has. Likewise, make sure that your carbon monoxide detector is working as it should when using your home heating appliances.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas. It can be dangerous to both humans and pets. Prolonged exposure to this gas can also be lethal. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent this toxic gas from being a threat to you and your family.

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What Is CO And When Is It A Threat?

During the heating process, CO is produced as well. It is a natural byproduct of combustion. Due to its lack of color and odor, it cannot be detected with our senses alone. We cannot smell or see it. Therefore, if your home utilizes propane, natural gas, heating oil, charcoal, or wood, it is a must to have a carbon monoxide detector. Likewise, a heating system tune-up will help prevent improper venting and CO issues.

A venting system is typically put in place in homes where fuel-burning heaters and appliances are installed for indoor use. The venting system is vital in the prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning as the CO is released outdoors. This way, the occupants of the home do not breathe it in. All heating systems and other appliances that use fuel to operate must be vented and installed properly and maintained regularly. Systems and appliances that are in perfect working condition are unlikely to leak CO. Should problems arise, a CO detector can help in early detection so that homeowners can take quick, evasive actions.

What’s The First Step In Carbon Monoxide Safety?

image of a carbon monoxide detector

The first step to having a carbon monoxide-safe home environment is installing a high-quality CO detector and alarm. It is a battery-operated mechanism that should be placed near any appliance that produces carbon monoxide. Make sure to have it tested regularly and that the batteries are replaced now and then. It is best to change its batteries and run its test before the cold season begins. During the installation of your carbon monoxide detector, read the manufacturer’s manual, and follow all instructions carefully. This way, you can do proper testing, installation, and maintenance.

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A Few Of The Common Causes Of Indoor Carbon Monoxide Build-Up

Any problem in your heating system’s ventilation can result in carbon monoxide build-up. CO can also leak through your damaged or worn-out heating unit. Therefore, aside from your CO alarms, make sure that your heating system receives yearly check-ups and maintenance as well, as mentioned above.

The best time to schedule your annual HVAC tune-up is before the heating season begins. This is a great way to keep your family protected from carbon monoxide leaks. Any blockages in the flue or vent, or a backdraft near your heater, puts your household at risk of CO exposure. Contact your local, trusted HVAC company to conduct proper diagnosis and fixes. Do so before the heating season begins to avoid any problems when you need your system the most.

Other Common Signs Of A CO Build-Up Or Leak

Aside from alerts from your CO alarm, carbon monoxide build-up can also be evident in other ways. CO is created as exhaust during the combustion of fuel. However, the exhaust will look differently depending on the fuel type. For example, a heating system that uses oil will show signs of smoke and soot if carbon monoxide is present in your home. If the oil-burning system is releasing more soot, call a reliable HVAC service immediately.


Mild, Moderate, And Severe Symptoms Of Carbon Monoxide Exposure


Carbon monoxide, no matter how much, is poisonous to humans and animals. The more CO in the living environment and the longer you are exposed to it, the more severe and extensive the symptoms will be.

Some of the mild symptoms you’ll experience include headache, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. At the same time, moderate symptoms are extreme headaches, confusion, disorientation, and drowsiness. Severe carbon monoxide poisoning cases can cause humans and animals to experience heart failure, convulsions, fainting, and death.

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What To Do If You Suspect Carbon Monoxide Exposure

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When anyone in your family shows signs of carbon monoxide exposure, switch off all fuel-burning appliances as soon as possible. Open windows and doors so that fresh air comes in. After accomplishing this, go outside your house right away. Report any carbon monoxide poisoning you are feeling to a doctor immediately. Take these steps when your CO detector issues an alert.

Never think that your CO alarm is sending you false alerts. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

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Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious issue. All houses that utilize fuel-burning appliances should take steps to prevent it. A well-maintained and fully-operational CO alarm is your best defense against it. Also, a great way to prevent it is to schedule a heating system tune-up on an annual basis.

As CO is odorless and colorless, a carbon monoxide alarm will be your signal when carbon monoxide is present in your home. However, the best prevention is still having your heating unit inspected by a professional. Make sure to book an annual heating system maintenance ahead of the winter season.


Call McAllister Energy For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

McAllister EnergyMcAllister Energy offers high-quality HVAC services in Camden County, New Jersey. We hire only the best professionally certified technicians who conduct superior heating and cooling services. Some of our HVAC services include furnace maintenance, AC installations, boiler repair, ductless system replacements, and much more. All our techs provide accurate HVAC services on time, every time.

Our company guarantees affordable heating and cooling service rates. Our maintenance services can increase your home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. We can also provide you with the best HVAC replacement system that is within your budget. Your satisfaction is important to us, so all our work comes with a guarantee. Book a service appointment with McAllister Energy today. We provide free, in-home estimates.

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