Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning occurs when you breathe in high levels of these fumes. Because CO is invisible and colorless, you cannot smell it like you would a gas leak. It can be quite dangerous at high levels, even resulting in death.
Carbon Monoxide is emitted through fumes from heating systems that include furnaces, propane, or wood-burning heaters, water heaters, gas stoves, gas dryers, and fuel-burning space heaters.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms
According to the Cleveland Clinic, these symptoms can range from mild to extreme. It’s worth noting that you may be experiencing CO poisoning if they last for some time. They are:
- Shortness of breath
Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Have your fuel-burning appliances (i.e., water heater, furnace, gas stove) inspected regularly. Your furnace and water heater should have an annual inspection by a licensed and reputable HVAC company. If you are thinking of selling your house, our inspection includes a thorough examination of all appliances.
- Replace your furnace filters regularly.
Depending on the furnace, filters need to be replaced monthly to yearly. A dirty filter puts more burden on the furnace, possibly leading to a cracked heat exchanger that can leak CO.
- Buy a carbon monoxide detector.
Install it within ten feet of each bedroom. You will need to replace it every 5-7 years or more often, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation.
- Do not ever idle your car in an enclosed garage.
As part of every seller and buyer home inspection, we look for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Everything looked normal from the front of the water heater at this Aurora, Ohio home. However, our inspector could tell that none of the flue sections were properly connected with sheet metal screws, and the flue was off-center when he took a closer look. The water heater exhaust gases (CO) were going directly into the home.
These pictures were taken from an occupied home in North Randall, Ohio, where the water heater was only a few feet away from the main door. It was a high traffic area and easily noticeable. The flue sections were not appropriately connected with the sheet metal screws.
Both homes were not equipped with carbon monoxide detectors.
Worried about CO Exposure in Your Home?
Call us at 330-815-0013 or go to our website to schedule an inspection. Based in Streetsboro, Ohio, we service the general northeast Ohio area, including Akron, Aurora, Hudson, Kent, North Randall, Solon, Streetsboro, and Twinsburg.