With winter quickly approaching and you turning on the heat on soon, it’s good to remember some practical tips about carbon monoxide and what it means for your home and for the safety of your family. Carbon monoxide is found in the fumes put out by many of your household devices and systems. Some such systems are your furnace, fireplace — including wood burning ones — vehicles, generators, and even appliances. The appliances include your stoves, some heating lamps, and gas ranges. When Carbon monoxide (CO) gas builds up, it can cause pets or family members to be poisoned and serious injuries.
During winter, it’s possible that your power will go out. Alternative energy sources typically need to release fumes and many of them when not used properly can be dangerous. Smaller spaces can fill up more quickly, especially if you are using multiple devices. For instance, electricity and heat or any other combination can fill a room quickly. Fortunately, CO exposure is totally preventable.
One of the easiest ways to prevent CO exposure is to check your home for your carbon monoxide detector and make sure it is working! Having a battery back up is important as well. If your power goes out and there is an issue, you will want your detection system functioning properly. Change the battery twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. A benefit of joining our Comfort Care Maintenance Plan is that we provide free battery replacement along with our services, which is at least once a year with the free electric panel inspection we provide to members. In the event that your detector goes off, get out of your home immediately and call 911. If you start to feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous, even if the detector isn’t going off, still remove yourself from your home and seek medically attention if necessary.
Here are some common no-no’s when it comes to CO and best ways to prevent the unnecessary build up of the gas. Do not use your oven to heat your home. On top of being even more expensive than what your furnace could cost you, it may also be deadly. Don’t heat or burn anything in your fireplace, oven or on your stove without proper venting. If your fireplace is wood burning, always double check that the flue is open before starting a fire. If you end up needing to use a generator, other gasoline, or charcoal burning device this winter, whether it’s just convenience or necessary due to a power outage, make sure it is less than 20 feet away from a window, door, or the proper venting.
One final step of preventative maintenance is to have your furnace checked each year by trained professionals like those at Twin City Heating Air and Electric. A tune-up is not expensive, free with our membership program, and could save your life, extend the life of your homes HVAC system, and give you peace of mind and greater comfort this winter season,