Carbon Monoxide and Your Home Heating System

carbon monoxide safety

Like it or not, winter is on its way to Lubbock, Texas. This means many things, but to your friends here at Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric, it means reminding our customers that their home’s heating system needs a good inspection and tune-up. Our professionals will make sure your system is operating properly – and more importantly – safely. This is noteworthy because a faulty or damaged furnace is the main culprit behind carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, also known as the silent killer because it is not detectable by sight, sound or smell. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 Americans die every year from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires; more than 50,000 visit the emergency room due to unintentional CO poisoning, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized. 


November is #CarbonMonoxideAwarenessMonth, so we think it is a great time to remind our customers that ensuring carbon monoxide safety involves not just the maintenance and repair of your home heating system. CO poisoning can also be caused by faulty or poorly-vented water heaters, fireplaces, boilers, cookers, grills, generators, and anything else which burns gas, oil, wood or coal. It is imperative that you have these items inspected and maintained … and in the case of the water heater, this should definitely be done by a licensed professional. 


If your heating system is operating properly, the gas or oil that is used is burned completely, resulting in mostly carbon dioxide and water vapor. But, if your system is not operating properly or is not ventilating properly, it can result in harmful – and even deadly- levels of carbon monoxide. This is why it is crucial to perform regular heating system maintenance and schedule a professional inspection of your heating system to make sure it is operating correctly and the chimney and ventilation system are clear and functioning the way they should. 


In addition to maintenance and an inspection by a licensed professional, another imperative safety measure is the installation of CO detectors. These should be placed near smoke detectors and/or near busy living areas such as bedrooms and family rooms and laundry/service rooms. Also, be aware that symptoms of CO poisoning are sometimes hard to detect or ignored because they resemble flu and cold symptoms. If you suspect you may have carbon monoxide issues, open windows, vacate the property and call your local utility company, most of whom will respond to emergency calls and check the CO levels.

As winter settles in, make sure your home’s heating system is running efficiently and safely … Better Call Armstrong for a seasonal inspection and tune-up! Check us out on Facebook and Twitter!