How to Protect your Home from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide, often termed as an invisible killer is an inodorous and tasteless gas that is produced when gases are partial burnt. The gas is hard to detect and can be very poisonous to both pets and humans. It usually accumulates in homes during the winter season as this is the time when most home heating systems are working overtime. Studies show that about 400 people die each year in the USA due to CO poisoning. Below are the five ways on how homeowners can protect their homes against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Install a special Home Security System or Alarm

Homeowners can install specialized alarms that can detect carbon monoxide levels. The alarms will alert home occupants in case of any CO leakage. Carbon monoxide detectors are affordable and easy to find. Some can be simply plugged into a power outlet, while others come with battery backups. Those with batteries are good in case of a power outage.

Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed in different rooms and floors. It is also recommended that the alarm systems should be installed close to the floor. This is because carbon monoxide is heavier and often stays next to the ground. It is also critical to install CO alarms next to appliances that burn oil, natural gas, charcoal, wood, propane, and coal.

Keep rooms properly ventilated

Proper ventilation can help reduce CO buildup. All rooms should be strategically fitted with air vents particularly the ones where there is a lot of heating like the kitchen. Items such as furniture should not block or cover the vents.

Understand the various symptoms of CO poisoning

It can be hard for one to know when they’ve inhaled carbon monoxide. This is because the symptoms are similar to those of flu, only that it doesn’t have a fever. Low to moderate CO poisoning causes symptoms such as fatigue, headache, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath among others. However, high CO poisoning can cause mental confusion, loss of consciousness, muscular coordination and even death.

Inspect all Heating Systems

HVAC systems should be inspected once every year. Some systems may have issues that can be hard to pinpoint like small leaks which can lead to CO poisoning. HVAC inspection also aids to improve the efficiency of the systems thus leading to cost savings.

Service your Appliances Regularly

The best way to reduce exposure to carbon monoxide is to check the type of appliances that one installs in their home. Appliances that are UL-listed and rated are safe and cannot cause unvented combustion. When buying any new appliance, homeowners should have them checked or serviced by a registered engineer to ensure that they’re working correctly. Any malfunction can lead to CO leakages.

Carbon monoxide is one of the leading causes of poisoning deaths in the US. Being an undetectable, invisible, and odorless gas, it can be hard for home occupants to know when it has accumulated in a home. However, one can stay safe by installing CO detectors, ventilating their rooms, servicing appliances, inspecting HVAC systems, and knowing the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.