Carbon Monoxide in Virginia
How Important Is Your Family To You?
Many people are not aware of an invisible intruder that may be lurking in their home. This intruder is Carbon Monoxide (CO) and it can be lethal. Because carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, it may be present in your home and you wouldn’t even know it!!! Carbon Monoxide is the #1 cause of poisonings in the United States, yet less than 5% of all CO poisoning is reported!
What Causes Carbon Monoxide?
One of the main causes of Carbon Monoxide is incomplete combustion, the result of fossil fuels not completely burning. Common household sources that are susceptible to carbon monoxide leakage include furnaces or heaters, water heaters, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, cook top stoves, ranges and ovens.
Other causes of carbon monoxide poisoning are, but are not limited to: motor vehicle exhaust, propane-fueled equipment such as grills, portable camping stoves, forklifts, and gasoline-powered tools such as generators, high-pressure washers, floor buffers, propulsion engines on boats (especially house boats) and welding equipment used in buildings or semi-enclosed spaces.
How Can I Be Proactive About Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
- INSTALL CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS with audible alarms on all levels of the home. Including outside of all bedrooms, furnace or water heater room, kitchen, and garage.
- REPLACE FURNACES AND BOILERS that are over 15 years old.
- HAVE YOUR FURNACE AND WATER HEATER CHECKED annually by a professional and make sure they use a combustion analyzer.
- MAKE SURE APPLIANCES ARE INSTALLED AND WORKING according to manufacturers’ instructions and local building codes.
- HAVE ONLY A QUALIFIED TECHNICIAN INSTALL OR CONVERT fuel-burning equipment from propane to natural gas or vice versa.
- CHOOSE vented appliances whenever possible.
- MAKE SURE YOUR FURNACE has adequate intake of outside air.
- KEROSENE SPACE HEATERS AND UNVENTED GAS HEATERS should only be used in well ventilated rooms. Most manufacturers of these appliances suggest keeping a window cracked for combustion air.
- HAVE THE CHIMNEY AND FLUE INSPECTED and cleaned by a qualified technician every year.
- DON’T USE OVENS AND GAS RANGES to heat your home.
- DON’T BURN charcoal inside a home, cabin, recreational vehicle or camper.
- DON’T OPERATE gasoline-powered engines in confined areas such as garages or basements.
- DON’T LEAVE your car or lawn mower running in a closed or open garage.
- REPLACE CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS in accordance with manufacturer specifications. Most Carbon Monoxide alarms are only good for a specified number of years. This varies by manufacturer.
- CALL THE CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION (1-800-638-2772) or www.cpsc.gov for more information on how to reduce your risks from CO and other combustion gases and particles.
Don’t Take Chances!
If you experience symptoms that you think may be related to Carbon Monoxide poisoning:
- GET FRESH AIR IMMEDIATELY!!
- GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM and make sure you tell the hospital staff that you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.
Comfort Solutions Tests Carbon Monoxide Levels
As a consumer you should expect your heating and air conditioning company to have properly trained technicians check your heating system for carbon monoxide emissions. Comfort Solutions includes a carbon monoxide test for your furnace or boiler as part of our annual fall Comfort Agreement check-out. We can also perform this service for your water heater or stove upon request for a flat fee.
Due to the potential danger of this gas, Comfort Solutions has invested in technologically advanced carbon monoxide detectors, which are equipped on all of our trucks. We have also received certification in carbon monoxide testing by the National Comfort Institute.