Over 400 Americans die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning not related to fires. More than 20,000 people make emergency room visits related to exposure and over 4,000 hospitalized according to the CDC.
Make sure your home is safe by following these steps to check your home for signs of carbon monoxide leaks.
Installing CO alarms in your home is the best way to be sure your home is free of carbon monoxide gas. You should install one alarm on each level of your home and in a hallway or center area near bedrooms. Young children and the elderly are most susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning though prolonged small amounts of exposure over time can be harmful to anyone. You can get an alarm that detects both high and low level CO to help make sure to avoid exposure. If your alarm goes off, you should leave your home immediately and call for help.
Most incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning happen during the winter months when people are using more heat from furnaces or burning wood. You should have get furnace maintenance from a qualified contractor at least once a year to have an inspection.
Don’t use gas appliances, generators, charcoal grills, or camping stoves inside your home or garage. Running these, even with a garage door open, increases your chances of carbon monoxide emissions coming into your home.
One potential sign of a furnace leaking carbon monoxide is sweaty condensation around the windows in your home.
Dark lines of soot around the furnace are a sign of a leak that could be somewhere in the furnace or gas lines.
The pilot light on your furnace should glow blue with an orange to yellow colored tip just at the end. If the pilot light looks completely orange to yellow, it’s likely to be a carbon monoxide leak. Call a technician right away after leaving the home.
Run the exhaust fan while cooking over the kitchen stove or open a window to let fresh air inside.
Never leave a car running in the garage. Even in our cold Minnesota winters where it can be tempting to let the car warm up first, it’s not a safe idea because carbon monoxide emissions can still leak into your home.
Always open the damper of your fireplace before each use. Loose stones and masonry around your fireplace is a potential sign of CO. Have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected periodically.
These nine tips should help you have more peace of mind when it comes to carbon monoxide and your home. Residential Heating & Air Conditioning provides reliable furnace replacement service in Minneapolis, MN. Call us today for a free estimate at 612-724-1899.