Carbon Monoxide Awareness

Carbon Monoxide Awareness


Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, and extremely hazardous gas produced when fuel (such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal) is burned. In the winter months, the risk of CO poisoning increases as furnaces are turned on to heat homes, and carbon monoxide gas is created during the combustion process.

CO_Infographic_rev_111414Carbon Monoxide Detection

The first step in limiting the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning is to ensure that you have CO monitors in your home. The most commonly used CO monitors are UL or CSA models. Unfortunately, these models do not alert homeowners until CO levels reach 70 PPM. While it was once believed that carbon monoxide did not have any adverse effects before reaching this level, a 2009 UCLA study discovered that even very small amounts of CO exposure can result in permanent brain impairment. They concluded that no home can be considered a “healthy home” unless its being monitored for CO levels at 10 PPM.


Professional Low-Level CO monitors are strongly recommended to ensure that your home is safe from carbon monoxide poisoning. Low Level CO will provide warnings starting at 10 PPM and will switch warning to “HIGH” once CO levels reach 50 PPM.


Carbon Monoxide Prevention

HeatExchanger_InfographicA properly functioning furnace should not increase the levels of carbon monoxide in your home. The heat exchanger is a special part designed to separate safe warm air that is circulated through your home from the poisonous carbon monoxide gas created during the combustion process when the furnace is in operation.

A crack in the furnace’s heat exchanger is one of the most common causes of carbon monoxide leakage. Even a tiny crack that is not currently leaking CO has the potential to increase in an unpredictable amount of time. Annual maintenance and inspection from a trusted HVAC company is imperative to avoiding carbon monoxide leakage in your home. If your HVAC technician discovers a crack, he will be required by state law to deactivate your system. Please do not attempt to turn the system back on, as doing so may worsen the situation.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms

While anyone can be a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning, certain members in your home may be at higher risk. Unborn and young children, pregnant women, senior citizens, smokers, individuals with serious illnesses, anyone with Asthma, Bronchitis, Emphysema, or Heart Disease, and even household pets are all especially at risk.

To keep your home and family safe, you should be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sleepiness
  • confusion

Do not ignore or dismiss these symptoms, especially if more than one family member is feeling them. Go outside and immediately call 911.


Special Offers

In honor of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month, we’re offering 20% off low-level carbon monoxide monitors during your heating system tune-up or electrical life-safety inspections. During a heating system tune-up, a licensed technician will verify that your heating system is functioning properly and is not at risk for carbon monoxide leakage. Similarly, a life-safety inspection will involve a licensed electrician testing and checking the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, and verifying that you have the right amount in the right places. In addition to the 20% low-level CO monitor discount, you can get either or both of these services at discount rates. Just Call Heritage or click here to schedule any of these services.