Should I be concerned about carbon monoxide in my home?

If you’re not breathing clean fresh air inside your home, your general health and well-being could be at risk. Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is a dangerous gas that can be found inside many homes. When humans and animals breathe in carbon monoxide, their health can be seriously affected. Death is possible when too much of this dangerous gas is inhaled. Monitoring and testing air quality is an ongoing task any homeowner or renter should undertake.

Once you know how CO enters the home, you can set up systems to protect you and your family. Putting proper controls and testing into place can provide a fairly accurate warning system. The following information provides important details about the impact of CO on your indoor air quality.

Sources of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a gas that’s produced whenever a fuel is burned. Appliances, fireplaces and HVAC systems that burn oil, gas or wood will generate CO. Outdoor sources, such as fuel-powered lawnmowers and generators, also create CO. When a home isn’t sealed correctly, these outdoor CO sources can penetrate the exterior and enter the home. Other often overlooked sources of carbon monoxide include cigarettes, cigars and any substance burned and inhaled.

A quick audit of the home can reveal possible pathways that need to be addressed. On the exterior of your home, look for obvious and hidden gaps in siding and at door and window frames. If a garage or storage area is connected to your interior floor plan, CO can find its way indoors. Many common outdoor items that are fueled by wood, gas or oil will produce carbon monoxide. These include cars, motorcycles, generators, power tools, stoves, ovens and grills.

Hazards of Carbon Monoxide

The fact that this poisonous gas is not detectable using our five senses makes it a silent killer. Even a short period of inhaling CO can cause breathing difficulties and long-term health problems. The lungs and respiratory system can be damaged and the body’s general health can suffer.

When appliances and equipment are properly installed and ventilated, CO is automatically rerouted and prevented from entering the home. Breeze Air Conditioning can provide you with an indoor air quality assessment for your property in Palm Desert. Our team is experienced in helping customers solve problems with contaminated air. Seasonal maintenance services are also a great way to keep heaters and other equipment in good working order.

Symptoms of CO Poisoning

Because CO is colorless, odorless and tasteless, it’s important to know what happens when it’s inhaled. Knowing the signs of inhaling CO could save your life and the lives of your loved ones. When you recognize the symptoms and act quickly, you can save lives. The only correct response is to move everyone outdoors and away from the home before calling your local emergency number. Here are some of the signs to look for:

  • Blurred vision
  • Breathing difficulty and shortness of the breath
  • Fainting and dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Mental confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you experience any combination of these symptoms seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Monitoring Your Home for Carbon Monoxide

Installing a carbon monoxide detector is a smart move and can help you remain in control of indoor air quality. Like smoke detectors, CO detectors are designed to alert you when the gas is present. More than one may be needed. You’ll want to place one in every area of your home where someone sleeps. You’ll also want to install a detector in rooms where fuels are burned.

CO detectors operate on batteries, and batteries should be replaced regularly. Add the detector to your smoke detector and air filter cleaning schedule. Good places to locate carbon monoxide detectors include:

  • Hallways near bedrooms
  • Kitchens with gas stoves
  • Laundry rooms with gas dryers
  • Living areas with fuel-burning fireplaces
  • Storage areas where gas heating and water heaters are present

For complete home heating and cooling services in Palm Desert, locals turn to Breeze Air Conditioning. Our company was founded in 1980, and we’re known for our NATE-certified technicians and professional workmanship. Property owners rely on us for fair prices on heating or cooling installations, repairs and maintenance. We also offer complete design services for temperature control, hot water and in-floor heating setups. Call us today to let us know about your upcoming project and schedule an in-home estimate.

Tags: ,