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(a $139 value installed)?
Call us for your annual furnace and air conditioning maintenance this month only…..and we will install a brand new CO2 Detector for FREE!
No matter where you turn, you hear the term “carbon monoxide”- it’s in the greenhouse gas conversation, the vehicle emissions debate, and, closer to home, it’s a matter of life and death. At Air Plus, it’s no different and every day, we get calls about CO and the worry of how to handle the emissions of this deadly gas.
Why? Simple. The more carbon monoxide (CO) that builds up in the blood stream, the less oxygen that the body can actually use. Too much CO can kill you. Even a little bit can sicken you and unlike many toxic fumes, CO is odorless and colorless, so victims of CO poisoning have to rely on diagnosing the symptoms instead of relying on external cues.
What are they?
Well, low or moderate levels of CO poisoning usually result in symptoms that resemble the flu – and with flu season in full effect right now, it is critical that you understand these:
- Shortness of breath
Of course, if you can’t smell it, see it, or taste it, you also can’t be sure when you’ve been exposed to increasing levels of carbon monoxide, so as those levels increase in the bloodstream, the symptoms begin to change and get more extreme:
- Mental confusion
- Loss of muscular coordination
- Loss of consciousness
- Ultimately death
So what causes carbon monoxide? Essentially, the incomplete combustion of burning organic material – be it fossil fuels, wood, or charcoal. These, of course, can be found in vehicle engines, smaller, portable engines such as you’d find in lawn mowers or generators, and – of particular importance for your safety in the home – furnaces, stoves, and even space heaters. These are the real threats, as they are most commonly found in homes and used while the occupants sleep.
… And CO poisoning can kill you while you sleep.
Nearly 200 people annually lose their lives in the United States every year and thousands more are sickened by CO, so what can you do to protect yourself in your home?
Just as we use smoke detectors, a carbon monoxide detector can be deployed to monitor CO levels in rooms and dwellings to alert occupants to rising carbon monoxide levels long before any symptoms are encountered so that the issue can be resolved quickly. An audible alarm – just like a smoke detector – tells you what you need to know.
Who needs a Carbon monoxide detector?
The answer here is simple – really, everyone can use a CO detector, but some groups are more at risk of CO poisoning than others. It’s up to you to assess the risk in your home, but if you meet any of the following standards, then you need one now.
- You do if you burn wood, coal, kerosene, or wood pellets for heat or cooking and if the heating or cooking devices are within the home or apartment.
- You need one if you use propane or natural gas for cooking or heating and if you burn any carbon-based materials of any sort in your residence (or a confined space, like a garage).
- You need one if you use a backup generator, and even though it is situated outside the home fumes can enter through windows, doorways, cracks in the walls, and even through a dryer vent, or through heating/air conditioning duct work.
- You need one if your hot water tank or dryer uses propane or natural gas, and you need one if you live in a building that uses a boiler that burns a fossil fuel to heat the building or the building’s hot water supply. Bio fuels will emit CO gas as well.
- You need one if you live in an apartment building that is heated by any type of fossil fuel, so know how your apartment building is heated. CO can collect in some areas of the building such as the basement, laundry room or storage areas, so inquire with the building’s management about detectors in common areas and have one inside of your apartment as well.
The good news is that many of the new generation of CO detectors being sold run off of batteries just like the common smoke detectors. Thus, the same annual battery replacement you already do for your smoke detectors can easily incorporate a CO detector and give you an added level of safety in your home. At the same time, some carbon monoxide detectors can actually be wired into the existing wiring of your home and still use a battery backup.