How To Protect Your Family From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Low temperatures mean that your heating systems are operating overtime. This means that Kansas residents should be aware of probable hazards to their HVAC system, including carbon monoxide leakages, which are difficult to detect without an alarm.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas produced as a byproduct. It can be lethal to humans and animals. Leakages can originate from various sources: water boilers, heaters, furnaces and gas appliances. It is essential to recognize these risks and to know how to protect your household from CO poisoning. This is what we recommend to avoid CO poisoning in your home.
Set up Carbon Monoxide Alarms
This is by far the most important step you can take to prevent CO poisoning, in addition to being careful with your devices. However, it is not as easy as purchasing a few alarms and installing them randomly in your home. There are several key locations where you must install detectors to increase efficiency. Follow the guidelines below to configure your alarms and craft the best protection net. Place your alarms:
- On each floor of your house
- Right outside of your bedroom
- Near potentially dangerous equipment, but not closer than 15 feet
- On ceilings
- Away from drafty spaces such as vents, windows and air registers
- Away from bathrooms
- In places not exposed to direct sunlight
Get a Complete Heating Check
The best technique to prevent CO leaks is to have the HVAC system checked by an expert once every year. Our technicians may run into minor issues that might not cause problems now; however, they could result in gas leaks in the future. This not only saves you cash, but it also protects your family from situations like CO poisoning.
Know the Signs and Symptoms
It is not enough to have a checklist of possible symptoms. Try to remember the signs for the highest safety level. Remember that mild symptoms seem to mirror flu symptoms. If someone in your household starts showing the symptoms, you will be aware of the likelihood of a more sinister thing than the flu. The signs may include nausea, dizziness, headaches, confusion, weakness or chest pain.
Clean the Filter of Your Gas Dryer
At first glance, it may seem that your dryer has nothing to do with CO poisoning. However, it may surprise you. If your household has a gas dryer, lint that builds on the filter can increase the risk of CO entering your home.
Not only is all that fluff a fire hazard; it also blocks ventilation, meaning that the CO produced in the machine will remain. Instead of filtering the gas safely into the vent, it goes into your house. Fortunately, there is a simple solution. Regularly clean the lint from your filter, and you will experience zero problems.
Test Your CO Monitoring System
It is not enough to buy and install the detectors. After all, they make no sense unless they function properly. After installation, you must test them to ensure that they are working correctly, and do this regularly. Regular tests ensure that monitors continue to function properly and are ready to alert you in case of threats.
Do you remember the fire drills in grade school? We are hoping you never had to practice it in real life; however, you had the skills to use in case of an emergency. Apply the same at home. Teach your children how to react when they hear carbon monoxide or fire alarms. Work out a game plan and perform a test run; hence, everyone will know how to run to safety in the worst-case scenario.
Limit Your Exposure to Carbon Monoxide
Among the best ways to reduce your risk of CO poisoning is to limit your exposure completely. To achieve this, you can mount UL-listed devices rated for secure performance. You may also take precautions like never using combustion appliances such as charcoal grills in your home and never leaving your lawnmower or car idling in the garage, even with the door open. For added protection in your household, seal off the wall between your home and the garage so that smoke from the garage cannot enter your home.
Trust the Professionals
Installing CO monitors may require the knowledge and experience of an expert. In the Olathe area, you can depend on the services of Mike Bryant Heating & Cooling. We provide installations, maintenance, repairs and much more. Contact Mike Bryant Heating & Cooling today to learn more about our HVAC systems.