According to a 2012 report by the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments attend to an average of 72,000 carbon monoxide calls each year. Carbon Monoxide, or CO2, is a colorless, odorless gas by-product of burnt fuel. It’s often associated with wood stoves, car engines and other fire combustion sources along with gas or oil furnaces.
Why is Carbon Monoxide so important?
Not to be overly dramatic, but understanding the causes and ways to prevent excessive CO2 exposure is a matter of life and death. CO2 is tops when ranking leading reasons of accidental poisoning deaths in the US*, and conditions of CO2 poisoning is often confused as the flu, viral infections and chronic fatigue, among many others. This makes CO2 poisoning an often hidden enemy that can be fatal over several years, or within just a few short hours. Acute poisoning takes place from intaking large concentrations of CO2, but poisoning may also happen gradually over many months or years. Some signs may include nausea, vomiting, flu-like symptoms, dizziness and fatigue.
So what can you do?
- No home should be without a reliable, tested CO2 detector. You can contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to purchase one today.
- If you do have a CO detector that is battery-powered, check or replace the batteries regularly; at least every 90 days. It's also wise to replace the detector every 3-5 years.
- If you experience or have experienced a few of the symptoms stated above, ask your doctor to test for carbon monoxide poisoning, and get a second opinion if necessary.
- Schedule routine gas furnace maintenance every fall to verify no carbon monoxide leaks are present at the beginning of heating season.
- If your furnace is approaching the end of its lifespan, you may want to consider a proactive home furnace replacement service and upgrade to a new energy efficient furnace.
*emedicinehealth.com. Prevention information for Carbon Monoxide poisoning may be inaccurate or incomplete; none of these methods guarantee prevention of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.