How can you keep carbon monoxide from harming your family? It’s a question you need to answer.
When health professionals talk about carbon monoxide (CO), they often refer to it as “the silent killer.” People go to sleep at night, and never realize that a deadly gas is in the air. However, even small doses of CO can cause sickness. For many people, CO-related symptoms are mistaken for other kinds of sickness because they’re so similar.
Because this toxic gas is odorless, tasteless, colorless, and non-irritating, you need to be intentional about detection.
At this point, most homeowners would be tempted to just get a CO monitor, install it, and pat themselves on the back for a job well done. Don’t make that mistake. You do need one. But you should also take additional steps to safeguard your health.
How to Keep Carbon Monoxide From Harming Your Family
Keep reading. We’re going to discuss 3 steps you can take to keep carbon monoxide from harming your family.
1. Get a High-Sensitivity CO Detector
Carbon monoxide is fast-acting even at low levels. In fact, your heart, lungs, and brain experience permanent harm when you’re exposed to low amounts of CO over an extended time.
However, that’s not the worst part. What many people don’t know is that residential CO monitors wait to sound the alarm until CO has already reached unsafe levels. At that point, who knows how long CO levels have been elevated? Your health may already have been harmed. In story after story of people who survived carbon monoxide poisoning, they were exposed for a long period to “non-deadly” amounts. And some experienced lasting effects.
We’re not writing all this as a scare tactic. If you burn fossil fuels in your home or have an attached garage, CO poisoning is a real health risk.
Here’s a helpful chart of when to expect an off-the-shelf CO alarm to sound:
- 40 PPM – alarm goes off after 10 hours
- 50 PPM – alarm goes off after 8 hours
- 70 PPM – alarm goes off after 1-4 hours
- 150 PPM – alarm goes off after 10-50 minutes
- 400 PPM – alarm goes off after 4-15 minutes
But what if you have long-term exposure at 35 PPM? Your alarm may never sound. And you’ll have to deal with possible symptoms like headache, difficulty thinking, cardiovascular trouble, and others. Over a long period of time, your attention span may shrink, and your health may be permanently compromised.
Install highly-sensitive carbon monoxide monitors. They sound an alarm at levels as low as 12 PPM.
Put them near sleeping areas, in the kitchen, near fireplaces, and in your utility room. They should be located near the ceiling because CO is lighter than air.
2. Get a Professional Installer
Sometimes gas appliances break – and need replacement. When the installers are putting your shiny new appliance in, don’t just trust them! Before they touch a thing, ask to look at their permit. And be prepared to deny installation if they’re not properly certified. Your safety depends on proper combustion and venting.
3. Get Professional Appliance Testing
Efficient gas appliances keep carbon monoxide out of your air. But how do you know if they’re efficient? You have a technician test them with a combustion analyzer.
A good combustion analyzer tests your gas appliance’s performance in these 3 areas:
- Fuel-air mixture
Your heat pump or furnace, water heater, fireplace, stove, and any other gas-fueled appliance should all be tested a minimum of once per year, but ideally twice – right before the temperature change in spring and fall. In addition, have your wood-burning fireplace tested at the same time.
Don’t simply trust that your gas appliances are safe. Find out for sure.
Interested in protecting your family with a professional-grade CO detector?
We’ll be glad to install one for you! Give Neal’s a call today at (706) 764-7185 or fill out our contact form for more information.