Invisible Gas: Learn How to Reduce Carbon Monoxide Exposure
You can’t see, smell or taste carbon monoxide (CO) in your home’s air. While there are many substances that share these properties, most are not as dangerous as CO. Even at low levels of concentration, inhaling CO can cause severe migraines, confusion and nausea. High exposure to CO is often deadly, which is why it is important to reduce carbon monoxide exposure.
How CO is Formed
Any combustion reaction runs the risk of incomplete combustion occurring. Incomplete combustion is caused by not having enough oxygen, so instead of carbon dioxide being made during the reaction, CO is made instead. Any appliance operated in or around your home that burns fuel has the capability of producing CO. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Oil or gas furnaces
- water heaters
- space heaters
Ways to Reduce Carbon Monoxide Exposure
To reduce your exposure to CO, you must first limit the production of it through proper maintenance. Have your HVAC system maintained on a regular basis and check for any signs of damage or deterioration before operating any fuel-burning machinery. The second way to reduce your exposure is by having sufficient ventilation. Have your home’s ventilation system inspected on a routine basis and never operate any CO-producing equipment in an enclosed area.
Finally, install CO alarms to alert you if the concentration of CO in your home rises and test them often. This will allow you to leave the home and alert the fire department before you have been exposed to the toxic chemical significantly. If you notice any of the symptoms of CO poisoning, it is wise to leave the area immediately even if an alarm hasn’t gone off. If you are unsure if your home’s appliances and ventilation are in good working order, please contact Sobieski Services.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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