According to poison control, “Each year in the United States, more than 200 accidental deaths are caused by carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. It is considered the leading cause of death from poisoning in the United States” (www.poisoncontrol.org) That’s a scary statistic. As your heating company in Tyler TX, we want our customers to be safe in their homes and their businesses, so here’s a little about carbon monoxide poisoning and how it can be prevented.
What does CO do?
Carbon Monoxide is called the “silent killer”. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it. In fact you won’t even know you are surrounded by it until the symptoms start. When the gas enters the body, CO replaces the oxygen the blood is carrying, thus reducing the amount of oxygen going to the brain, heart, and other vital organs. Early symptoms include headache, nausea, weakness, and dizziness followed by fainting, confusion, seizures, coma, and heart attack. If everyone in the home is experiencing similar symptoms, there’s a good chance you have a problem. Get everyone fresh air as soon as possible.
How Does CO Get into the Air?
Carbon Monoxide is produced when there is incomplete combustion of a fossil fuel. This means that any appliance that burns gas has the potential to produce it if it’s not working properly. Furnaces, stoves, even cars, if malfunctioning can turn deadly. If your furnace is not receiving sufficient air or heat or is getting too much fuel, incomplete combustion of the fuel can release CO into the air. If the chimney or flue is blocked, carbon dioxide is not being vented out of the home and instead fills the room. The carbon dioxide then depletes the room of oxygen that the heating unit needs to achieve proper combustion and CO is produced. Another problem found in furnaces involves the wearing out of the heat exchanger. It can develop leaks that disrupt the air to fuel ratio that must be maintained for combustion. These are a few of the ways that this deadly gas can find it’s way into your home, but don’t worry, a heating company such as ourselves can come to your Tyler TX home and inspect and service your furnace to be sure it is functioning properly. We know what to look for!
What Should we do if we Suspect CO in our home?
The first thing to do if you suspect carbon monoxide is invading your home, is to clear the air. Open doors and windows to let oxygen in. Get loved ones (don’t forget the dog) out of the home. Call an ambulance if needed and a Tyler TX heating company or your gas company to check the home for CO. Every home should have carbon monoxide detectors installed to warn you if there is a threat.
Regular maintenance of your furnace by a certified heating company in Tyler TX will not only help keep you warm and comfortable, but free from the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning. We can check your heat exchanger and fuel to air ratios to be sure everything is working properly. If you suspect you have a CO problem, or just want to be sure you won’t, call us today! Your safety is our priority!