Carbon Monoxide Leaks: Checking for and Preventing Them
Carbon monoxide is an invisible gas that is both odorless and tasteless. To humans, it is a poison that prevents lung tissue from absorbing oxygen. When carbon monoxide leaks occur in confined spaces with poor ventilation, anyone in the building could become severely ill or even die. It is extremely important for your safety, and that of your family, that you know how to detect a carbon monoxide leak and what you can do to prevent them.
Common Sources of Leaks
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), carbon monoxide can come from many common household sources, such as gas water heaters, furnaces and chimneys. The most frequent culprits in carbon monoxide poisoning are portable gasoline-powered generators, which people often run indoors after a power outage. Minor cases of carbon monoxide poisoning are sometimes mistaken for the flu because it is often accompanied by nausea and headaches. So it is possible that carbon monoxide leaks may go undetected while homeowners suffer from poisoning.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
A household carbon monoxide detector is your first line of defense. Plug one in near every bedroom and near every possible source of a carbon monoxide leak. If an alarm sounds in your home, open a window and get everyone in the house outside. Call 911 and stay out of the house until emergency services give the all-clear. While detectors are a good way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and warn you about potential leaks in your home, regular professional inspections of your HVAC system and gas appliances are the best way to detect and prevent carbon monoxide leaks.
Each fall, before cold temperatures in the Atlanta area cause you to close the windows turn up the heat, inspect your HVAC system to ensure that it is functioning properly and that there is no carbon monoxide leaking into your house. The HVAC pros at Casteel offer a preventative maintenance program that can take much of the worry off your shoulders. In addition to maintaining your heating and air conditioning system with inspections twice each year, they perform regular checks for carbon monoxide leaks. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, staying vigilant for carbon monoxide leaks is important for your family’s safety and health.