A warm and safe home is a crucial must-have for the winter season. To achieve this, you need to have a properly maintained and fully functional heating system. Heating systems are built to be durable. However, this doesn’t mean that your system will always be in perfect condition. A fuel-burning system produces carbon monoxide or CO during the heating process. It is essential that you take precautions against the various risks that come with it. The steps that homeowners can take include installing a carbon monoxide detector, annual heating tune-ups, and more.
Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, colorless, and odorless gas that is toxic to humans and animals. Prolonged exposure can be fatal. Therefore, it is vital to have a working CO detector when using heating systems. This and a few other things should be done to ensure that this hazardous gas doesn’t pose a threat to you and your family.
What Is CO And When Is It A Threat?
- What Is CO And When Is It A Threat?
- What’s The First Step In Carbon Monoxide Safety?
- Several Causes Of Indoor Carbon Monoxide Build-Up
- Heating System: Another Common Sign You Have A CO Build-Up Or Leak
- Symptoms Of Carbon Monoxide Exposure
- Steps To Take If You Think You Were Exposed To Carbon Monoxide
- Contact The BHHC To Connect With A Local Oil Dealer
CO does not have color or odor. This makes it hard for us to detect this gas using our eyes and nose. Hence, if you have any appliances that burn wood, charcoal, natural gas, propane, and heating oil, you must install a carbon monoxide detector.
It is also a must to have a venting system. Vents allow the CO to be released outdoors properly. This way, you and your family do not inhale this gas, and CO poisoning is prevented. It is recommended that all fuel-burning appliances are vented and installed correctly. They should be well-maintained as well. This way, they are less likely to have CO leaks. In the unlikely event that it does happen, you must have a CO detector to alert you as soon as possible.
What’s The First Step In Carbon Monoxide Safety?
Install a high-quality carbon monoxide detector. This is the first thing you need to do to ensure your home is safe from CO. Carbon monoxide alarms are powered by batteries, so make sure you regularly replace them with fresh ones. It would help if you also remembered to test them once in a while so that you are sure they are running in tiptop shape at all times. During the installation of this device, read and follow the instructions from the manufacturer manual carefully. This way, you can install it correctly and conduct proper tests and maintenance.
Several Causes Of Indoor Carbon Monoxide Build-Up
Ventilation issues in your heating unit can cause CO build-up. A worn-out or damaged heating system can also have CO leakages. Therefore, it is a must that your heating system receive annual checks and maintenance as well.
Schedule your once-a-year HVAC tune-up before winter arrives. This will ensure that there are no CO leaks, and you can use your heating system confidently. Maintenance includes removing any clogs in your vent or flue and that there isn’t any backdraft close to your unit. Contact a reputable HVAC technician to inspect, diagnose, and resolve any issue your system might have. Book it before the start of the heating season, so your system doesn’t suddenly fail when you need it the most.
Heating System: Another Common Sign You Have A CO Build-Up Or Leak
Other than alerts from your CO detector, you can determine CO build-up through different means. Carbon monoxide is generated as exhaust during fuel combustion. It will have a different appearance depending on the type of fuel your system utilizes. For instance, if your unit uses heating oil, then the exhaust will have soot and smoke. If the system is producing more soot than usual, it might have CO build-up, so you need to call an HVAC tech immediately.
Symptoms Of Carbon Monoxide Exposure
Carbon monoxide is poison to both humans and animals. The CO saturation in the air and the exposure time can affect the severity of the symptoms you’ll feel. Mild symptoms can cause nausea, dizziness, headache, and fatigue. On the other hand, moderate symptoms will have you feeling confused, drowsy, and disoriented. With severe symptoms, you’ll experience convulsions, heart failure, and fainting. Worst of all, it can even result in death.
Steps To Take If You Think You Were Exposed To Carbon Monoxide
When you suspect that your home is exposed to carbon monoxide, turn off all appliances that use fuel right away. Allow fresh air to circulate in your house by opening all windows and doors. Make sure to go out of your home as soon as you accomplish these tasks. Contact your doctor and get yourself checked immediately as well.
Do all these as soon as you notice your CO detector going off. Never think that it is sending you the wrong alerts. Prioritize your and your family’s safety at all times.
Carbon monoxide lacks color and odor, so it is difficult to see and smell. Therefore, you should take precautions to prevent CO poisoning. Install a CO detector as this is your best line of defense against it. Make sure to have your heating system maintained annually as well.
Contact The BHHC To Connect With A Local Oil Dealer
The Better Home Heat Council (BHHC) is a local association that aims to help homeowners with everything that has to do with fuel oil heat. We provide you with knowledge, especially on things regarding the economic and efficient use of heating oil. Also, we assist people in identifying and solving issues about energy-efficiency in their homes or office. We accomplish this by pushing them towards an effective and affordable path to ensure that their living areas become more efficient and cost-effective.
The BHHC also supports heating oil delivery service companies that offer services, products, and solutions to homeowners in the Lehigh Valley. If you are searching for a superior home heating oil delivery service near you, click here. Rest assured that most of the fuel oil delivery service companies in our system also provide free energy consultations.