What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?
Carbon Monoxide, or CO, is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms each covalently double bonded to a single carbon atom. Carbon Monoxide is a tasteless, odorless gas that can be emitted from gas powered appliances. Most notably, a gas furnace. Carbon Monoxide should not be produced by your gas furnace, if it is, there is improper combustion happening. Combustion of the fuel that was not intended by the manufacturer. Lack of maintenance, improper installation, ventilation issues can cause improper combustion.
How do I prevent improper combustion?
The best way to prevent improper combustion is to have a licensed heat and cooling contractor come to your home to inspect the gas appliance. He will examine the original installation and general condition of the appliance. Furthermore, he will examine the home and area surrounding the gas appliance for any traces of CO. The instruments technicians carry are very sensitive and will even pick up low, non-toxic levels of CO in your home before a standard detector will, that way the technician can identify the source before it turns into a larger, more dangerous problem.
What are the symptoms of CO exposure?
The symptoms of CO initially are similar to the FLU without a fever. They include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and loss of consciousness. The CO bonds tightly to the hemoglobin in red blood cells, preventing them from carrying oxygen throughout the body. If you are experiencing these symptoms and when you go outside to fresh air and they go away, you may have CO poisoning. If this is the case, you should shut down ALL gas appliances and call a professional to examine immediately. How to prevent a problem? The best way to prevent a health problem is to have CO detectors throughout the home to detect any CO in the home. It is best to put these where you sleep, that is when you will have poisoning without any symptoms due to you being asleep. Also, have all your gas appliances inside your home examined by a professional once a year. They can perform the necessary inspection and maintenance on the appliance. If you have any further questions or concerns on this matter feel free to contact us HERE.