Carbon monoxide gas has no odor. When exposed to CO gas, the initial symptoms mimic those of other flues or illnesses. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is toxic and it is important to safeguard your family by learning how to improve ventilation and prevent a buildup of CO gas in your home.
Carbon Monoxide Buildup
Anything that prevents the proper exhaustion of gasses from the home can lead to rising carbon monoxide levels indoors. This includes chimneys, which can be blocked unknowingly by animal activities or corrosion. Dirty, or poorly maintained furnaces also contribute to carbon monoxide in indoor air. Fuel-burning appliances require airflow to function properly, and when this process is interrupted, which can happen for many reasons including HVAC system malfunction, carbon monoxide is released. If you live in a newer, airtight home you maybe extra susceptible because if the ventilation systems are inadequate, gasses have nowhere to go.
Acute carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal, although few understand that chronic exposure to lower levels also cause health problems. Our body relies on oxygen for normal function and high levels of CO can result in chronic flu-like illnesses, fatigue and organ damage. If CO poisoning is detected early enough, there are treatments. Anytime you suspect that you or another household member may be suffering from long-term exposure to carbon monoxide, seek medical help for CO poisoning testing.
Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality
Prevention is key for preventing carbon monoxide poisoning. Have all chimneys and HVAC systems inspected at least once a year to make sure all are functioning optimally. In addition, equip your home with CO detectors. There is always a chance that something can go wrong unexpectedly, but CO detectors will alert you if carbon monoxide levels have risen in the home. Follow all instructions about placement of these, and make sure to install them on each level of the home.
For information about carbon monoxide alarms and CO testing, contact us at Wood Air Conditioning & Plumbing, Inc. in Mt. Pleasant, Hughes Springs, Pittsburg, Daingerfield, Mt. Vernon, Omaha, Naples, Winnsboro, Cookville, and Sulphur Springs.