Carbon monoxide, or CO, is an invisible gas that you cannot smell or taste, and it is produced as a byproduct of the combustion process in various heating appliances and engines. There are several sources of carbon monoxide the average Orlando-area home, and following information will help you to identify the sources and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, and offer tips to help keep your family safe:
Sources and Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Exposure
Sources of carbon monoxide: Several appliances in your home are capable of producing the potentially-deadly gas when they are operating abnormally, including furnaces, water heaters and stoves that run on natural gas, propane, or heating oil, as well as wood-burning fireplaces and wood stoves. Outdoor equipment that is used indoors or operated too close to open doors or windows can be dangerous as well, including camp stoves, weed trimmers, lawnmowers and portable generators.
Symptoms of CO poisoning: As the gas accumulates in your home, you may begin to experience flu-like symptoms that include nausea, dizziness, weakness and headaches. Continued exposure can result in vomiting, loss of muscle control, confusion and, eventually, death.
People with increased risk: Unborn babies, young children, the elderly and those with existing heart or respiratory conditions may be affected quicker and more severely than other people.
Preventing CO Poisoning
Maintain your appliances: Have any fuel-burning appliances serviced at least annually by a certified professional. Inspect appliance flues or vents periodically to make sure that they are not blocked and that there are no cracks or holes in the pipes, especially near corroded areas.
Install CO detectors: You should have at least one CO detector on each level of your home, and it is also recommended to have one outside each bedroom. Make sure you test each CO detector regularly, replace its batteries at least twice a year, and buy a new one when the CO detector reaches its expiration date.
For more information about protecting your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide, talk to our experts at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. We have served Orlando and the surrounding communities since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about carbon monoxide and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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