Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that can be generated in your own home without your knowledge. It is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, which makes it very difficult to detect. Appliances such as space heaters, gas stoves, furnaces, heaters, and refrigerators can all emit carbon monoxide if poorly ventilated. A gas leak can also be a major cause of carbon monoxide emission. Even though carbon monoxide detectors are standard in most homes now, it is still important to recognize any signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide leaks in case your detector has problems.
Inspect High-risk Areas
Because of carbon monoxide’s nature, it is very difficult to detect. Make sure all appliances in your home are well-ventilated. Using appliances in an enclosed space can lead dangerous emissions. An idling car, for example, can fill up your garage with carbon monoxide, which can rapidly spread to your home.
People affected by carbon monoxide generally show flu-like symptoms, or indigestion, headache, nausea, and light-headedness. This is another reason why most people do not make the connection with carbon monoxide. If all the members of the household have similar symptoms, and feel better when they are away from home, this could be an indication of carbon monoxide inside. Also remember to look for other signs in your home that can indicate risk factors.
Look Around the Home
There are some reliable indicators that should draw your attention to the presence of carbon monoxide. A stale, stuffy smell in a clean home is a warning sign. If you notice a burning smell, this is also a red flag. The smell may not be from carbon monoxide itself, but from other toxic gases being emitted by malfunctioning equipment. Excessive moisture on windows and walls, especially if they are close to a fuel-burning appliance, is also an indicator. However, the condensation could also be the result of excessive moisture in your home, so you need to rule out other possibilities before you can conclude that it is a carbon monoxide leak. If you have a pilot light on your gas stove, observe it for inconsistencies. If it continually goes out, it could be malfunctioning and emitting carbon monoxide. If the flames and pilot light on your gas stove are always blue and they are turning yellow, have it checked out. Be alert and on the watch for the smell of natural gas when you turn on a fuel-burning appliance.
If you notice an issue with the air quality in your home, or HVAC system, make sure to contact us. We can come and inspect the system to ensure it is working efficiently. It is important to have the issue inspected at the first sign, before delaying too long and it causes worse problems in the long run. By having the system checked regularly, your home will be warm and enjoyable this winter.