If you don’t already have carbon monoxide (CO) detectors installed in your home, make sure you correct that situation before the heating season arrives. With the onslaught of winter, Indiana homeowners will be kicking on their gas furnaces — and improperly vented or malfunctioning furnaces is a common source for CO poisoning in homes. A carbon monoxide detector will sound an alarm if it detects indoor CO — a potentially lethal gas that’s produced via combustion by furnaces, gas water heaters, cook stoves, fireplaces and more. If these appliances are not operating properly, they can release dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
- Have several carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home. The most important area is right outside of sleeping areas but also make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home. Because CO is a tasteless, odorless gas that cannot be seen, it is especially dangerous when you and your family are asleep. Install the detectors high on your walls or up on your ceilings and be sure to change the batteries regularly if they are battery operated.
- Don’t install them near any fuel-burning appliances in your home. These appliances may release harmless trace amounts of CO, triggering a false alarm. Your CO detectors should be at least 15 feet away from the furnace and other gas-fired appliances.
- Carbon monoxide causes a number of symptoms depending on the amount the person has inhaled and the period of time the person has been exposed to it. Symptoms can include chest pains, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, nausea, unconsciousness and even death. If the CO detector’s alarm goes off, move to fresh air immediately.
As winter approaches, you will want to make sure that your CO detectors are functioning properly, and that your heating system is safely venting any carbon monoxide away from your home. A fall maintenance tune-up should turn up any warning signs for carbon monoxide.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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