Carbon monoxide, a highly poisonous, odorless and tasteless gas, is a byproduct of incomplete combustion. As such, various appliances in your home – such as gas-burning furnaces, water heaters and cook tops – emit this gas every time you use them.
Fortunately, under normal circumstances, carbon monoxide is vented outdoors where it dissipates harmlessly into the air. However, a carbon monoxide leak can develop in your home and put your family at risk. Here’s how to detect such a leak in your Johnson County home.
Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
This is your best defense against a carbon monoxide leak. These detectors are designed to sound the alarm before life-threatening levels of carbon monoxide enter the air. Make sure a detector is installed on every floor of your home, especially right outside sleeping areas. Keep them out of the immediate vicinity of combustion appliances and out of bathrooms, since humidity can cause nuisance alarms.
Maintain Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Installation is the first step, but you must also keep carbon monoxide detectors in good working condition. Test your alarms monthly and change the batteries yearly, so they serve you well for years to come.
Have Combustion Appliances Serviced Regularly
The general rule of thumb is to have your furnace maintained every fall. While the technician is there, ask to have your water heater and gas-burning stove looked at as well. With regular service, you can put your mind at ease knowing there’s no harmful carbon monoxide leak present.
Watch for Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The initial symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure include headache, nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue, confusion and dizziness. High levels of carbon monoxide could result in vomiting, coordination issues, disorientation, unconsciousness and ultimately death.
If you think you have carbon monoxide poisoning, leave your house immediately and see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Then, have your combustion equipment serviced before using them again.
For more tips about detecting carbon monoxide leaks, please contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling, Inc. We’ve been proudly serving Johnson County residents since 1983.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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