When it comes to indoor air quality during the winter months, carbon monoxide (CO) is always a common topic. In the US, around 50 thousand people visit the emergency department each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Four hundred thirty people die because of it. This scenario is more prevalent in the wintertime because of the continuous running of heating systems, which can trigger the risks that lead to poisoning.
If your house uses a gas-burning furnace in your home, you are more prone to this risky condition. If you want to protect yourself and the entire household from CO poisoning, here are the steps you need to observe:
#1: Ensure that your furnace gets its annual maintenance
Having professionals check the condition of your furnace regularly can bring you immediate peace of mind. Schedule an overall inspection and thorough system cleaning at least once a year. During this appointment, your technician will conduct some tests to ensure that your furnace is in good working condition. They will also let you know if your furnace is experiencing technical problems and address them right away.
#2: Regularly replace your filter with a new one
Using a new filter can ensure that your furnace is working in top condition. When this filter gets clogged, it will cause your furnace to overheat and potentially crack. When the heat exchanger cracks, it is like giving poisonous carbon monoxide a way into your home.
#3: Beware of the signs that you are experiencing CO poisoning
You must know when carbon monoxide is already invading your home. Since it is a transparent and odourless gas, it can be hard to determine. However, your body can tell you what is happening. You just need to pay attention to how you are feeling. Here are some signs that you have been exposed to a high concentration of carbon monoxide:
- Dizzy spells
- Sore throat
- Memory loss
- Rapid heart rate
- Loss of consciousness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light, sound, and odours
#4: Install carbon monoxide detectors around the house
The easiest way to secure your home’s safety against carbon monoxide is by installing detectors. If you use appliances that burn fuel, such as water heaters, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, gas ranges, and the like, make sure you have detectors at home. Install them near your sleeping area, and make sure to leave the house when you hear the alarm.
#5: If you have a portable generator, keep it outside
Any appliance that burns fuel can produce carbon monoxide. If your device continuously emits carbon monoxide, it can linger for a long while inside your home. As much as possible, you need to keep such devices outside or install proper air ventilation for each. If you own a portable generator, consider placing it outside to avoid other problems.
Carbon monoxide can be dangerous because it replaces the oxygen in your blood. Without enough oxygen, the cells in your body cannot fully function. When the gas enters your whole body, you can get poisoned by it. Prevention is always the secret to keeping your home safe and carbon monoxide-free. If you know what to do and what to look out for, you are in safe hands.
If you need professional help for your furnace maintenance, contact us at Legacy Heating & Cooling. We provide furnace and duct cleaning to residents in Edmonton and surrounding areas. Contact us at 780-733-1256 to book a service.
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