According to a 2012 report by the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments respond to an average of 72,000 carbon monoxide incidents each year. Carbon Monoxide, or CO, is a colorless, odorless gas by-product of burnt fuel. It’s often connected to wood stoves, car engines, and other fire combustion sources including gas or oil furnaces.
Why is CO awareness so important?
Not to be overly dramatic, but understanding the causes and ways to prevent excessive CO exposure is a matter of life and death. CO is among the leading ways of accidental poisoning deaths in the US*, and conditions of CO poisoning have been known to be misdiagnosed as the flu, viral infections and prolonged fatigue, among many others. This makes CO poisoning the invisible killer that needs to be taken seriously by every Kingwood homeowner. Acute poisoning takes place from inhaling large concentrations of CO, but poisoning may also happen gradually over many months or years. Some signs may include nausea, vomiting, flu-like symptoms, dizziness, and fatigue.
So what can you do?
- If you don’t have a CO detector in your home, get one right away. You can phone Finch Air Conditioning & Heating to purchase one today.
- Batteries should be checked on a consistent basis for existing CO detectors. It's also recommended to replace the detector every 3-5 years.
- If you experience or have experienced a few of the symptoms mentioned above, ask your doctor to test for carbon monoxide poisoning and get a second opinion if necessary.
- Schedule routine gas furnace maintenance once per year to check that no carbon monoxide leaks are present at the beginning of heating season.
- If your furnace is approaching the end of its lifespan, consider a proactive home furnace replacement service and upgrade to a new hvac system.
*emedicinehealth.com. Prevention information for Carbon Monoxide poisoning may be inaccurate or incomplete; none of these methods guarantee the prevention of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.