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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. When your heater has an undetected HVAC repair your home may be vulnerable to dangerous levels of CO, which is why it is very important to keep up with your air conditioning maintenance.

Go Green Hating & Cooling wants to share all the knowledge Austin homeowners need to have to keep their AC units healthy and their home protected. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about carbon monoxide threats and how to prevent a carbon monoxide leak in your home!

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 any fossil fuel is burned — like in gas burning appliances — CO is produced. 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. This is a dangerously high number that is often overlooked, but anyone with a gas appliance should be aware of the risks.

What are the Symptoms?

On top of being an exceedingly difficult gas to identify, once you are exposed to carbon monoxide, it is tricky recognize poisoning symptoms. The list of possible carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms is quite extensive, but some of the most common are:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea

These symptoms mimic other common illness like the flu. For this reason, many people downplay their symptoms until it is too late to seek medical attention. It’s also easy to miss signs of poisoning when you are asleep, which is why detectors and alarms are so important. If you believe your symptoms are due to carbon monoxide, turn off the source, move to clean air and call 911.

What Causes a CO Leak?

Hot water heaters, AC units, and even gas fireplaces can be sources of carbon monoxide gas. In most cases, the gas is properly drawn outside through an exhaust vent or pushed out by a fan. Another culprit of carbon monoxide poisoning is if the heat exchanger on your furnace becomes cracked. This component works like your car exhaust. Without the exchanger pushing fumes out, they are blown back inside your home. All in all, accidental CO 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 you vents aren’t blocked and can properly do their job.
  3. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors — Trust your professional HVAC contractor to strategically install and secure CO detectors around your home. If you want to feel confident in your home’s safety, depend on the premier carbon monoxide detector installation at Go Green.
  4. Schedule Regular Maintenance —  The best way to ensure your home has low risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is having a professional evaluate the HVAC system every year. Our team’s experienced eyes are trained to identify possible problems like leaks and cracks and fix them before they pose a danger to your home.

Your Friendly CO Shield

Calling a professional can make you aware of any potential threats your unit is experiencing and can resolve the threat before it puts you in danger. That’s why our team is trained and prepared to go above and beyond every time they visit your home.  Be ready to shield your home from carbon monoxide by working with our team! With Go Green Heating and Cooling, you can be sure that you and your loved ones are safe.

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Very pleased with Go Green! They were able to come out the same day I called and were very friendly, honest, and informative and did good work. Thanks Go Green!

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Friendly, professional, reliable, and reasonable price. I had a great experience upgrading my attic insulation. We had good communication, they did the job in a timely manner, and they didn’t pressure me to add on more than I needed. Quick and easy.

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Such a professional process…from estimate through installation. The payment options were amazing. Brandon is terrific …explained everything from beginning to end. The technicians, knowledgeable, fast and thorough. Highly recommend Go Green!

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After receiving a ridiculously high quote from the HVAC company sent out by our home warranty, my husband wanted a second opinion. Our technician Mike was thorough and honest about what needed repair. Not only was the diagnosis much simpler, so was the price. Mike got the repair done quickly and was very professional. We’ll definitely be calling Go Green again.

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