Heating season is well upon us. There are several options for heat sources, including systems using either propane, natural gas, or oil.
Carbon Monoxide – What Is It?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. Although it has no detectable odor, CO is often mixed with other gases that do have an odor. So, you can inhale carbon monoxide right along with gases that you can smell and not even know that CO is present.
According to the United States Center for Disease Control, every year nearly 500 people are killed by carbon monoxide (CO). The American Medical Association cites CO as the number one cause of poisoning deaths in the United States. Without carbon monoxide detectors, this deadly gas can kill you before you even know it’s in your home.
What happens with CO poisoning?
When CO is inhaled at high concentrations, it displaces the oxygen from the hemoglobin in red blood cells. That means the body doesn’t get the oxygen it needs. Symptoms of CO poisoning vary and may sound a lot like the flu — but there’s no fever. One clue may be a pattern of symptoms that occur in the same enclosed space, but that improve outside in fresh air. The most common complaint is a headache. Other symptoms might be feeling tired, nauseated, dizzy, or short of breath. In more serious cases, this can progress to confusion, seizures, loss of consciousness, and death.
How can you protect your family?
- Do have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
- Do install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. If the detector sounds leave your home immediately and call 911.
- Do seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated.
- Don’t use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window.
- Don’t run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
- Don’t burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented.
- Don’t heat your house with a gas oven.
- Don’t use a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent
Rely on Coastal Comfort when it comes to your heating and air conditioning maintenance and repair needs. We also offer high-quality installation services that can provide the best comfort, efficiently. Call us today at (410) 742-1435 if you’re in Salisbury, and (302) 629-4700 if you’re in Delaware. You may also fill out our online form to learn more about our products and services. We serve residents of Salisbury and Easton, MD, and Rehoboth Beach, DE. We serve surrounding cities as well.