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February 20, 2020

Can Central Heat Cause Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

February 20, 2020 | Blog

When you think about your family’s safety, carbon monoxide poisoning may not be the first thing to come to mind. But it should. Can your central heat cause carbon monoxide poisoning? The short answer is yes. It is difficult to detect, which is why it is very important to keep up with your air conditioning maintenance.

What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas known as the “silent killer” because it doesn’t produce an odor, a color or a taste. When you breathe carbon monoxide, it makes it difficult for your blood to transport oxygen and can lead to asphyxiation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 2,244 deaths from 2010-2015 caused by unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning.

What are the Symptoms?

The list is quite extensive, but some of the most common are:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea

If you believe your symptoms are due to carbon monoxide, turn off the source, move to clean air and call 911.

What Causes a Leak?

Hot water heaters, AC units, and even gas fireplaces can be sources of carbon monoxide gas. In most cases, the gas is simply drawn outside through an exhaust vent or pushed out by a fan. Another culprit of carbon monoxide poisoning is if your heat exchanger becomes cracked. This component works like your car exhaust. Without the exchanger pushing fumes out, they are blown back inside your home. So in a nutshell, accidental exposure can be caused by compromising the route that carbon monoxide leaves your home.

How to Prevent CO Poisoning?

  1. Inspect Your Chimney
    Check for any blockage (bird nests, soot, etc.)
    Check the glass doors for cracks, and test the igniter
  2. Check Your HVAC vents
    Blocked vents waste money and can overheat a furnace. Make sure vents aren’t blocked.
  3. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  4. Schedule Regular Maintenance

Calling a professional can make you aware of any potential threats. At Go Green Heating and Cooling, you can be sure that you and your loved ones are safe.

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