Where Does it Come From?
Carbon monoxide, or CO, can be found in fumes that come from burning fuel. Sources can include vehicles, small engines, stovetops, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, and furnaces. Because many of these items are commonly found in nearly every home in America, the likelihood that you could be exposed to carbon monoxide is high. In fact, over 400 Americans die annually from unintentional CO poisoning. Even more frightening, over 20,000 people visit the emergency room and 4,000 people are then hospitalized from CO exposure every year in the United States. (https://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm) Keep reading to find out why carbon monoxide is dangerous and how you can help protect yourself and your family from exposure.
Why is it Dangerous?
Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas. For that reason, it can be hard to know if there is a carbon monoxide leak in your home. If CO builds up indoors or in an enclosed area, it can be deadly. As your body is forced to breathe in more carbon monoxide and less oxygen, it starts to affect your bloodstream. The oxygen in your red blood cells gets replaced with carbon monoxide which does serious damage to your body and can often result in death without treatment.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide are often likened to the flu. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, get to fresh air and seek medical attention: dull headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, or loss of consciousness. (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/carbon-monoxide/symptoms-causes/syc-20370642)
How to Protect Yourself from Exposure
The idea that a substance could be leaking into your home and threatening your health without you knowing is terrifying to consider. To help alleviate your fear, try implementing some of the following tips in your home.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
- When you buy gas equipment, make sure it has a seal from a national testing agency.
- Check and clean your chimney every year.
- Don't patch a pipe with tape, gum, etc.
- Never use your gas range or oven as a heating source for your home.
- Have your heating system and other gas appliances checked regularly by a qualified technician.
Call Royal Heating & Air
Our experts at Royal Heating & Air would be more than happy to come by your home for a fall maintenance check. We will make sure your furnace is in good working order to help prevent carbon monoxide exposure in your home. We are the best HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks - You can trust us to take care of you and your home HVAC needs. Call today for your appointment!
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