You can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but it can potentially kill you. This is a scary combination that applies to very few things, but carbon monoxide (CO) is one of them and it could be lurking in your home.
The Risk of CO
Low-level concentrations of CO are not usually deadly, but they will impair human health. It varies from person to person, but low levels of exposure usually result in headaches, sore throats and dizziness. These symptoms could easily be mistaken for those of a common cold or flu, which is why it’s important not to look for CO exposure based on symptoms.
The only effective way to detect carbon monoxide in your home is with CO detectors that monitor the levels inside house. You should install at least one detector per floor, preferably in hallways. If you only have one, make sure you install it near the main sleeping area. If the alarm does go off, immediately go outside and call 911.
Prevention is the Best Course of Action
The ideal situation is for your CO detectors to never go off in the first place. You can do this by having proper ventilation where fresh air is constantly replacing stale inside air. If your home uses gas-powered appliances, such as a furnace, water heater or kitchen stove, or you use a fireplace or wood stove, you’re particularly at risk of CO buildup in your home. Make sure appliances are properly vented and cleaned, and that your wood-burning stove or fireplace is inspected and cleaned regularly, as well. Chimneys also need to be cleaned and maintained.
Carbon monoxide is nothing to take lightly. For more information on how to make your house safer, please contact our experts at Roth Heating & Cooling, who proudly serve the Portland area.