Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer
- Category: Articles
- Published: Tuesday, 27 October 2020 14:28
Did you know that more than 400 people die each year in the US from unintentional and non-fire related carbon monoxide poisoning based on statistics by the CDC? In many cases, this happens due to malfunctioning furnaces and other appliances being used incorrectly in the home. As winter approaches and temperatures dip, it is extremely important to check batteries in your home’s carbon monoxide detectors and if you don’t own one, plan to purchase a detector for you home.
Power outages and other emergencies can happen when storms hit and often, families end up using alternative sources to heat the home, cook and more. Carbon monoxide build up can then happen, and this silent killer can seep through a home, camper or garage, poisoning people and animals living inside. Because carbon monoxide (CO) is odorless and can’t be seen, often there is no way of knowing if the levels are dangerously high, harming you and your loved ones. Also, it’s important to never idle a car in a closed garage when the weather is cold or use a gas generator in a closed space.
Cold weather also brings stories about carbon monoxide poisoning due to malfunctioning furnaces and other appliances in the home. Even wood-burning fireplaces can emit unhealthy levels of CO. As the temperature dips in our region, it’s the ideal time to call Viviano HVAC. A member of our team can come to your home to ensure your heating system is working effectively. Other appliances that can also emit CO include your water heater and any gas, oil or coal burning appliances. Having a qualified technician check your home annually will give you peace of mind all winter long.
Why is it smart to have your furnace checked annually? A gas furnace, for example, ignites a burner and the flames from that burner heat up the heat exchanger which transfers the heat into the air in your home, keeping it warm and cozy. Carbon monoxide is produced from the burning of the natural gasses or propane. If your furnace is older or malfunctioning, higher rates of carbon monoxide gases can leak into your home at lethal levels. Making sure your furnace is operating at safe levels is easy by installing carbon monoxide monitors in the home as well as having your furnace checked each and every year.
Fall is the perfect time to make sure your furnace is running efficiently. Don’t wait until it gets too cold, turning on your furnace at the last minute! It may make sense to replace older parts to save money but depending on the age and repair costs of your existing furnace, a newer, more energy-efficient model may be best in the long-term. We can recommend the best option, based on your existing unit as well as your situation. Keep in mind that today’s HVAC equipment keeps getting better, saving you money in the long run with lower utility bills.
When placing CO monitors in your home, placement by the furnace is not the ideal option. It’s best to keep the CO monitors closer to the ductwork in your home because if high levels of carbon monoxide are emitted, it will seep through the vents. Signs of a CO issue with a furnace may be made evident in the following ways:
- Yellow burner flame instead of a blue one.
- Dripping, heavy condensation where the furnace is located.
- The smell of unusual gases in your house. Although CO is odorless, when in contact with exhaust gases it does create an odor.
- Stale/stuffy air accompanied by a burning smell.
Give Viviano Heating and Air Conditioning a call at (618) 345-7498 if you have questions about your existing system or would like for us to inspect your furnace. We also offer a maintenance program that keeps your HVAC service schedule on track. Want to learn more? Visit our website at www.VivianoAir.com.