There is no doubt about the warmth and comfort home heating systems provide us whenever winter comes. It’s hard to imagine living a life without the gas furnaces, water heaters, and boilers that keep us from freezing whenever temperatures take a steep dive. It’s even harder to imagine your heater breaking down in the middle of winter because getting heating system repair can get a bit tough in the middle of a blizzard.
Our heating systems, however, are not without risks. Since there is combustion involved in their operation, they produce carbon monoxide, a gas that is deadly to both humans and pets.
One scary thing about carbon monoxide is the fact that it’s odorless, tasteless, and colorless. In other words, it’s tough to detect. You could have a carbon monoxide leak inside your home and not know it.
The consequences of a carbon monoxide leak are unimaginable, and that’s why you have to take all possible measures to protect yourself and your loved ones from carbon monoxide poisoning from your heating system. Here are a few tips to do just that.
Install carbon monoxide detectors
A carbon monoxide detector is the best way to alert a household that there is, indeed, a CO leak at home. CO detectors are affordable, dependable, and widely available. No matter how small the leak, these CO detectors will pick it up and promptly raise the alarm, which should allow anyone at home to get out to safety.
The best CO alarms are those that you can plug into an outlet and has a battery backup.
Since carbon monoxide tends to stay near the ground, plug your CO detectors—which you should have on every floor and bedroom—into outlets closer to the floor.
Keep your vents clear
Your ventilation systems should be clear of debris so in case of a carbon monoxide leak, the CO can make its way outside and dissipate there. Make sure floor vents, dryer vents, and chimneys are free of any obstruction.
Know the symptoms
The better you know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, the faster you can act to get your loved ones to safety. Those symptoms include:
shortness of breath
Contact your local fire department as well to deal with the CO leak.
Conduct yearly inspection and maintenance
An annual inspection of your heating system by HVAC professionals should help ensure that it’s working perfectly and that there is no danger of a CO leak. If they find small issues that could lead to a carbon monoxide leak, they will immediately deal with it before anything untoward happens in the future.
Michelle West is the Senior Content Editor of Precision Air and Heating, a local AC repair company in sunny Arizona. Michelle enjoys writing about topics that help people all over the country make their homes more efficient and environmentally-friendly.