Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that has been found to cause thousands of deaths each year. So it’s important to take steps now to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning in the colder months. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to stay safe from carbon monoxide during the cold months by using a few simple safety precautions and tips.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced when fossil fuels such as natural gas or gasoline are burned. When there’s an excess amount of oxygen present, it can be converted into CO. This happens naturally in our bodies through normal metabolism, but if there isn’t enough oxygen available for combustion, the process will not occur.
The most common source of CO exposure is faulty appliances like stoves, furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, and other heating devices. If these appliances aren’t properly maintained, they could leak or emit too much CO. Other sources include burning candles, wood stoves, and even car exhaust.
The tips to stay safe from carbon monoxide in colder months are:
1. Install carbon monoxide detectors
Carbon monoxide detectors are inexpensive and easy to install. They’re also very effective at alerting you to dangerous levels of CO. You should always have one installed on every level of your home. Swails Heating & Cooling can install it for you.
2. Keep your furnace clean
If you have a forced-air system, make sure to keep the vents free of debris. Also, check the filter regularly and replace it if necessary. A dirty filter will reduce airflow and allow more CO to enter the house.
3. Schedule fireplace inspection
Fireplace inspections should be done annually. During the inspection, the technician will look for any cracks or leaks in the chimney flue, leading to CO emissions. The technician may also recommend replacing any cracked bricks or mortar.
4. Check the weather forecast
When temperatures drop below freezing, some homes can become cold enough for CO to form indoors. Make sure to check with your local utility company to see their recommendations for keeping your home warm safely.
5. Use a dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air, so they help prevent mold growth and mildew. Dehumidifiers also help lower indoor humidity levels, which helps prevent the formation of CO indoors.
6. Turn off unnecessary lights
It may seem obvious, but turning off all the lights in your home can save energy costs. However, it’s important to remember that leaving lights on unnecessarily can increase the risk of CO exposure.
7. Warm your car outside the garage
If you live in a cold climate, you may want to consider warming up your car before going inside. This will prevent CO from building up in the vehicle.
8. Stay away from open fires
Open fires pose a threat to everyone around them because they release large amounts of CO. Never leave children unattended near an open fire.
9. Close windows and doors
Keeping your home well-ventilated by closing windows and doors can help prevent CO buildup. It’s also recommended that you turn off fans and air conditioners during the winter months.
10. Do not use a stove or oven to heat your house
Using a stove or oven, heating your home can cause CO to build up in the kitchen. Instead, try using space heaters or a heater.
There are many ways to protect yourself from CO poisoning. But, by following these simple steps, you’ll be able to avoid getting sick from this deadly gas.