Gas flame

Carbon Monoxide Safety

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless poisonous gas that can be deadly in certain concentrations. All gas-fired appliances produce a certain amount of CO as a part of normal operation, with the biproduct being safely vented away from the home through chimneys and flue vents. If something is wrong with the appliance or the ventilation system, such as a cracked heat exchanger in a gas furnace or a clogged flue, carbon monoxide gas could potentially leak into the home.

What Appliances Produce Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide can come from a variety of sources. The ones that first come to mind are gas furnaces, gas boilers, and gas water heaters. Carbon monoxide can also come from gas generators, gas and wood burning fire places, and motor vehicle exhaust that can enter the home via attached garages.

checking carbon monoxide levelsWhat Can I Do to Protect my Home from a Carbon Monoxide Leak?

1) Get a combustion analysis performed BEFORE you run your gas heating appliance. This will ensure safe levels are achieved, and that the exhaust and safety systems are intact and in good working order.

2) Install quality low-level detection CO alarms on all floors of the home (at minimum).

3) Test your CO detectors regularly.

What are the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Some people mistake carbon monoxide poisoning with flu-like symptoms. A feeling of exhaustion is quite common.

Additional symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Feeling clumsy
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Feeling of weakness. 

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a dangerous and urgent medical condition.  Victims need fresh air and medical attention ASAP.

What Happens if Carbon Monoxide Leaks into My Home?

If your carbon monoxide detector has gone off, immediately do the following: 

1) Get you, your family, and your pets to fresh air and call 911.

2) Do not run any combustion appliance in your home until you have found the source of the leak.

3) Do not re-enter the home until emergency responders check the area, even if the alarm stops beeping.

In conclusion, the best way to keep your family safe is to install quality low-level detection CO monitors. Installing these along with regular testing and heating system safety inspections will help keep you safe. 

To schedule a maintenance service for your gas furnace in the San Antonio area, call Zimmermann Air Conditioning & Heating at (210) 880-0885.