While it’s a common byproduct of combustion, you can still minimize carbon monoxide exposure by taking the right precautions. In an average year, over 150 people in the United States will die from the presence of this odorless, colorless gas and more than two thousand will require emergency treatment. Many of the fatalities occurred while victims were sleeping. Deadly carbon monoxide concentration inside a home or elsewhere can occur silently and without obvious signs or symptoms until it’s too late. Here are some steps you should take to minimize carbon monoxide exposure and avoid becoming a statistic:
- All home appliances that utilize natural gas or any other combustible fuel should be installed by licensed professionals in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and applicable building codes.
- Your furnace should receive an annual check-up by a qualified HVAC technician including an inspection of the combustion chamber, heat exchangers and vent flues, as well as testing the level of carbon monoxide.
- Service or repair of combustion appliances in the home is not a DIY project. If you suspect a problem with any appliance, discontinue use and call a qualified professional.
- Install approved CO detectors in hallways outside every sleeping area in the home. Keep the detector clear of obstructions like furniture or draperies.
- Don’t use camping equipment that burns cooking fuel or other combustible substance inside a house, garage, vehicle or other enclosure.
- Never burn charcoal indoors or inside a vehicle or tent.
- Do not run an automobile or any other internal combustion engine inside an attached garage even if the door is open.
- Natural gas-fueled appliances like ovens, ranges or clothes dryers should not be utilized as alternate methods of heating.
- Unvented appliances that burn gas or other combustible fuel should not be operated in sleeping areas.
- Don’t cover the underside of ovens that utilize natural gas or propane fuel with aluminum foil or any other material. Reducing the air flow into the appliance impairs combustion and produces carbon monoxide.
To keep your family safe and minimize carbon monoxide exposure, contact the professionals at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal for more important information.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about carbon monoxide exposure and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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