Just like that, the heating season is here and it’s a great chance to remind you about the dangers of carbon monoxide. In fact, this is carbon monoxide awareness month. This tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas kills more than 400 people every year. Another 20,000 get sick enough they are treated in emergency rooms. Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric is using this article to remind you about some of the causes and how to protect the loved ones in your Lubbock, Texas home.
MORE THAN JUST FURNACES
We will start with a quick reminder: While most of the focus is on furnaces, any fuel burning device creates carbon monoxide including, but not limited to:
- Wood stoves
- Kerosene or propane space heaters
- Fireplaces (wood & gas)
- Gas dryers & water heaters
- Portable generators
So, while this may feel like it’s being written about furnaces, the precautions and suggestions to protect your family pertain to any of these devices.
WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF & FAMILY
Just like any other danger in the home, taking protective measures ahead of time is the best way to keep everyone safe.
- Furnace service & maintenance
It takes a trained HVAC professional to identify and correct furnace problems that cause carbon monoxide leaks. Here are two good examples of why regular furnace maintenance is vital:
- A technician uses his or her training and experience to determine if the furnace is burning the fuel efficiently. When there is not a correct mix of air and fuel the combustion process produces excess carbon monoxide.
- Cracked heat exchangers allow the deadly CO gas to escape into the home rather than venting to the outside. Our Armstrong technicians will closely examine the heat exchanger during EVERY furnace maintenance visit.
- CO Detectors should be installed
As valuable as furnace service and maintenance are in preventing CO poisoning, there are no guarantees. Armstrong strongly recommends protecting your Lubbock, Texas home with carbon monoxide detectors following these guidelines:
- There should be at least one detector on each floor of the house.
- One should be installed in close proximity to each bedroom.
- There should be a detector close to any door leading to an attached garage.
This last item is often overlooked, but any type of vehicle accidentally left running in a garage can quickly fill the attached home with a deadly level of carbon monoxide gas.
DON’T TAKE CHANCES
Remember the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared. With that in mind make sure you know the early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning because it’s vital you act before you are incapacitated:
- Dizziness or weakness
- Dull headache
- Flu-like symptoms
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
If you experience symptoms or your CO detector sounds an alarm, don’t take chances. Leave the house immediately, call 911, and wait for firefighters to arrive. Do not re-enter the home until you are told it’s safe to do so.
CALL NOW TO PROTECT YOUR HOME
Please use this carbon monoxide awareness month to prepare for the upcoming heating season in Lubbock, Texas. If you haven’t had seasonal furnace maintenance yet, please call Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric to make an appointment now. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more great information like this.