Winter is a hazardous time of year for a number of reasons. From dangerous road conditions due to freezing rain and snow, to frigid temperatures and inclement weather, it seems like the only way to escape the dangers of the season is to stay holed up in your house! But, what you might not realize is that if you’re not careful, the deadliest contributor of the season might actually be located in your home.
Carbon monoxide is a major problem for thousands of homeowners across the country each year. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 40,000 people annually are affected by carbon monoxide poisoning to a degree of hospitalization, usually because of high concentrations in their homes due to unsuitable furnace conditions. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and invisible to us, but it remains a deadly danger to watch out for.
Preventing carbon monoxide buildups
Carbon monoxide buildups in a home are generally the result of an improperly maintained furnace, or more specifically, a flue pipe that isn’t working to pipe the gas out of a home. If left to accumulate in a confined space, carbon monoxide can build up and enter the home through your usual HVAC dispersion channels.
The first and foremost step in preventing buildups is to make sure you’re investing in annual furnace repair in Tuscaloosa, AL. Your furnace needs to be inspected, serviced and repaired if it’s functioning at any lower degree than perfection. A contractor can recommend any repairs needed and make sure that you’re not in any danger of this deadly gas building up.
Second, and just as important, is having an early warning system to alert you to unacceptable densities of carbon monoxide in your home. Having carbon monoxide detectors in critical areas of your home will make sure this invisible killer doesn’t have a chance to sneak up on you.
Paying attention to symptoms
Even preparing yourself for the winter season by having your furnace inspected doesn’t guarantee that your home will be safe all season long—problems can arise at any time. The key to making sure they’re short lived and well controlled is to be diligent in observing signs and symptoms associated with a carbon monoxide leak.
If gas is present in your home, your body will react in much the same way as you would if suddenly hit by symptoms of the flu or a severe cold: nausea, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, drowsiness, trouble breathing, etc. It’s easy to pass off these symptoms as a natural sickness, but at the same time, just as easy to install a carbon monoxide checker to make completely sure you’re safe.
Harnessing and managing heat
Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of combustion, which means you can’t have heat in your home all winter without producing some of this deadly gas. Your furnace is built to keep you safe, but if it’s not in top working order, it can’t do its job successfully: it’s up to you to make sure you’re taking the steps needed to give your furnace and yourself the highest level of safety during this dangerous winter season.