As cool weather approaches and we start thinking about turning on our gas furnaces, it is important to remember the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is produced whenever any fuel (gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal) is burned. For the purpose of this blog, I am going to focus on the danger of carbon monoxide exposure from using a gas furnace. Properly maintained, a gas furnaces are very safe. They produce an amount of carbon monoxide (CO) that is not hazardous and the CO that is produced should be properly vented for safety. The danger arises when there is an equipment breach or when there is not proper venting. Like all appliances with many moving parts, gas furnaces can fail. Routine maintenance will keep your furnace functioning properly and discover small problems before they become large and hazardous. It is important that everyone have their gas furnace inspected every fall before they turn on their heat.Carbon Monoxide is an invisible odorless and tasteless gas. This is exactly what makes it so dangerous It can go completely undetected until it creates disasterous consequences. Each year hundreds of people die from carbon monoxide poisoning because of malfunctioning or improperly used fuel burning appliances. The most effective way to avoid CO poisoning from your gas furnace is to have it inspected by a professional HVAC technician to make sure it is in good working condition. It is also important to recognize the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
At low levels of exposure, the symptoms of CO poisoning are very similar to the flu and food poisoning. You may feel mild nausea, headaches and shortness of breath. At moderate or high levels, the headaches can become severe acoompanied by dizziness, mental confusion and fainting. Exposure to these levels can result in death. Children and the elderly are particulary sensitive to the effects of carbon monoxide. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning should seek fresh air immediately. Leave the house and go to the emergency room. A blood test can determine if poisoning has occurred.
Every home with a gas furnace should have carbon monoxide detectors installed and make sure that they are functioning. But, do not let these devices take the place of annual furnace maintenance. To do so, creates a false and potentially deadly sense of security. Carbon monoxide detectors can fail.
Right now, MTB Heating and Air is offering our Comfort Security Check for $59. One of our experienced technicians will check your gas furnace to make sure that it is functioning properly and that all of the safety components that shut off your furnace in the event of a mechanical problem are in good working order. For the safety of your family, please have this inspection done. You will have the peace of mind that everyone in your home will stay warm and safe. Call MTB Heating and Air today, to schedule your Comfort security Check.
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