Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly gas that invades thousands of homes every year, and many homeowners don’t even know they have this common indoor air pollutant. This gas is completely colorless and odorless, and is a natural by-product of combustion. It’s always a good idea to have CO detectors in your home to protect against carbon monoxide exposure, and then tackle these common CO hiding places.
Gas Appliances and Heating
Your gas range, dryer, furnace and water heater are all top culprits for carbon monoxide emissions. While these are designed to burn clean with little or no off-gassing, poorly maintained gas appliances may have a “dirty flame” that constantly gives off toxins. It’s critical to get these serviced regularly and replaced whenever necessary to minimize the risk of carbon monoxide exposure.
Fireplaces are beautiful and offer an excellent source of heat, but they don’t burn clean. Instead, the chimney and other ventilation apparatus are designed to move toxins out of your house to produce only clean, warm air. This only works as long as your chimney is well-maintained and clean, flues work properly, and filters and screens are in good working condition.
Vehicles and Lawn Equipment
The garage is a top source of carbon monoxide exposure, especially if you have an attached garage that has a door leading into your home. Never warm up your car in the garage with the door closed; exhaust fumes quickly build to a dangerous level. Gas-powered equipment such as lawn mowers and string trimmers also emit carbon monoxide, so never work on them indoors without adequate ventilation.
Generators are wonderful for protecting against power outages, but they are not intended to be anywhere inside a home. Have a professional install your generator, and then get regular air quality tests to ensure that diesel fumes aren’t seeping into the house.
If you have additional concerns about carbon monoxide in your home, please contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling for expert advice that could save your life. We have been serving the Portland, Oregon area since 1976 for all heating and cooling needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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