Tasteless, odorless, and colorless are common words used to describe the potentially fatal gas carbon monoxide that can show up in your home. It comes from poor ventilation or improperly functioning appliances. Things like furnaces, gas stoves, and space heaters are known for the CO emissions. Most homes have carbon monoxide detectors installed in them now, but you should still know how to look for early signs of a carbon monoxide leak. Here is an effective way to be confident your family is safe.
Check Areas that are High-Risk
Know which of your appliances are capable of kicking out high levels of carbon monoxide first. Then, check those areas in your home where they are operational for quality ventilation. If the space is too enclosed, the gases can build up quickly leading to a potentially hazardous situation.
Explore the Symptoms
People that come in contact with carbon monoxide will generally feel the same flu-like symptoms including:
When everyone in your home is feeling the same way, it could be the flu, but it may not be. That’s especially true if you notice that your animals are sick as well. If these symptoms tend to go away when everyone is away from the house, that’s a pretty good indication that you are suffering from carbon monoxide inhalation. It’s a silent killer, so if it sounds like carbon monoxide poisoning, don’t take any risks and get out of the house right away.
Observing Your Home
You can do regular observations of what is happening in your home and watch for red flags leading to the presence of carbon monoxide. For instance, a burning smell could be other gases being emitted, and carbon monoxide could be in the mix. A clean house that smells stuffy or stale could also be due to carbon monoxide.
Check where you have fuel-burning appliances running for condensation or moisture on the walls and windows. The problem could be because your home has too much moisture in it, so rule that out before assuming it is carbon monoxide.
People with gas stoves and gas-powered water heaters need to pay close attention to the pilot light. If it keeps going out, something isn’t operating correctly, and carbon monoxide is likely escaping the appliance. The same goes for if the flame changes colors. You should have that and all your fuel-burning devices regularly inspected. Additionally, chimneys and fireplaces have to be cleaned of all chalk-like powders and soot by a professional regularly.
If after taking the steps listed above you have anything that points to the idea that you may have carbon monoxide in your home, you need to take action instantly. The first thing is removing everyone from your home and seeking medical attention especially if anyone is feeling sick. At the hospital, they can take a blood sample and determine what level of carbon monoxide is present in your body.
After everyone’s health has been taken care of, you want to get in contact with a professional fuel supplier. They can come into your home and do a full inspection of your appliances. Anything that has been installed incorrectly or is leaking will be pinpointed so that you can remove or repair it.
Finally, if you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your home yet, now is the time to go purchase one and install it. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to put in, and can potentially save the lives of you and your family. Just like with a smoke alarm, you should check it at least monthly to be sure it’s still functioning properly.