Carbon Monoxide

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning impacts thousands of families every year nationwide. Carbon monoxide leaks come from the gas appliances we rely on whether it’s your heater, fireplace, or even your oven. Most of us rely on some form of gas every single day, so it’s important to protect you and your loved ones from a carbon monoxide leak. In this blog, we’ll explain what causes CO leaks and how you can prevent them for the long-term.

What Causes Carbon Monoxide Leaks?

As we mentioned before, carbon monoxide leaks come from burning fossil fuels. Everything from natural gas and even burning wood can cause a potential carbon monoxide leak. The most common causes are related to poor installation or ventilation of heaters and boilers. As HVAC pros, we’ve seen poor installations that are just waiting for a carbon monoxide leak to spring up.

The important thing is to remember that there are a lot of things that can cause a CO leak. There’s almost no way to fully prevent one from happening in the first place. Regular maintenance of your heater can help spot potential problem areas before they become full-on leaks, but that only covers the most common cause. This is why the reliance on carbon monoxide detectors is so important.

Recognizing the Signs of a Carbon Monoxide Leak

Since you can’t prevent carbon monoxide leaks from ever happening in your home, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs that you have one, so you can respond to it quickly.

Physical Signs

Carbon monoxide has a number of physical symptoms that you can spot before exposure becomes extremely dangerous. Here’s a quick list.

  • Shortness of breath, or having trouble breathing

  • Dizziness, or nausea

  • Headaches

  • Loss of Consciousness

A lot of these symptoms can be caused by a variety of problems. Hopefully, knowing that these are some of the ways carbon monoxide can impact the body will allow you to follow up on a CO leak being the potential cause.

Other Signs

A CO leak doesn’t have to start impacting your family members before you recognize it. Other warning signs include browning plants, soot stains near your appliances, or a faulty pilot light in your furnace.

One thing to keep in mind is that smell is not a sign of a carbon monoxide leak. CO is completely odorless! Other types of gas leaks can have the smell of sulfur because the gas company adds it in to make leaks easier to spot. However, CO is a bioproduct from the chemical reaction of burning fuel which means it never is treated with the chemicals that cause natural gas to smell like sulfur.

Overall, keep in mind that if you use any type of burning fuel in your home, you can potentially suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning. It happens to thousands of families every single year. This is why you need to ensure your CO detectors are up to date and replaced every few years. You never know when a leak could spring up, but having a working detector could make all the difference. Additionally, you should get your furnace or heater inspected and tuned-up at least once a year. Professional eyes can often spot the damage that could lead to a carbon monoxide leak in the future and save you from a stressful and scary situation.

Our Hilton Head-based HVAC pros can help you with all your HVAC needs during the COVID-19 crisis. Our technicians are trained in cleanliness, are screened for health, and understand the proper directives from the authorities. Call us today at (843) 508-9779 or fill out an online contact form to schedule your appointment today!