Carbon monoxide is a dangerous, stealthy gas. Because it lacks an odor, it can sneak up on people and cause rapid sickness and death. You can guard against exposure to carbon monoxide by installing CO detectors and taking several other measures.
- Have a backup CO detector that runs on batteries or have your main/only one be battery operated. This ensures you won’t lose a vital warning service if your power fails. When you change your clocks forward or back one hour, make sure the batteries are working.
- Contact a HVAC technician at least once yearly to inspect and service your water heater and heating systems, as well as other appliances that run on gas, oil, wood or coal. They should look at the combustion process and venting for any fuel-burning equipment. Most HVAC companies will give a free estimate for any work that needs to be done.
- Avoid indoor use of chemical heaters that are portable and flameless. They can lead to exposure to carbon monoxide due to buildup inside the enclosed space.
- Look for seals that signify approval by an agency such as the CSA group when you are shopping for gas equipment.
- Check any chimney at least once yearly to ensure debris is not blocking it. Also use this time to conduct a safety check of your home.
- Position gas appliances so that vents are not blocked. Also ensure horizontal vent pipes are sloped slightly upward to prevent carbon monoxide leaks.
- Your home should be well-ventilated so that even if CO does leak into the household, it doesn’t have a chance to accumulate to dangerous levels.
- Your ductwork should be inspected, and any leaks repaired, to avoid back-drafting, where noxious fumes are brought back into the living space via the ducts.
Please contact us at NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating for more ways to safeguard yourself against carbon monoxide poisoning. With more than 40 years of experience serving South Florida, we know how to install CO detectors and keep your family safe.