the risks of carbon monoxide gas and home heating

The Risks of Carbon Monoxide Gas and Home Heating

February 15, 2015

Natural gas and oil furnaces  are very reliable types of home heating equipment. However, the nature of these two fuel options presents its own level of risk when used in a duct system, like your home HVAC. Since these furnaces burn fossil fuels to produce heat, they also produce carbon monoxide (CO). If this gas escapes into a living environment, it can cause serious illness, carbon monoxide poisoning, or even death.  The more you know about Carbon Monoxide gas, the safer you will feel and the quicker you can address any CO concerns.

The Nature of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas produced as a byproduct of combustion. It cannot be detected by human senses, which makes it extremely dangerous. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause a variety of serious physical conditions, including permanent damage to bodily organs and the brain. In the most extreme cases, CO can kill. This is why it is extremely important to take carbon monoxide safety measures to protect yourself and your family.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors: In addition to smoke alarms, you should also install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. These devices can sense harmful concentrations of CO and will produce a loud alarm alerting you to the danger.
  • Ensure proper venting and indoor ventilation: HVAC systems should be properly vented to the outdoors to remove carbon monoxide from your indoor environment. Chimneys and exhaust flues should be checked to make sure they are free from damage and that exhaust gases are flowing through them properly. Chimneys for both oil and natural gas furnaces should be professionally inspected at least once a year.
  • Maintain your HVAC systems: Provide regular preventive maintenance for your heating systems. This should include an annual inspection and tune-up by an HVAC professional. Air filters should be checked monthly and changed when they get dirty.

Berkeley Heating & Air Conditioning has provided home heating and cooling services to customers in Mount Pleasant, Hanahan, North Charleston, and the surrounding communities since 1958. Contact us today for more information on avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning and how to make your home safe from the dangers of carbon monoxide.

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