Calgary Heating & Air Conditioning: Prevent Carbon Monoxide From Taking your Home
… And possibly your life.
Kyle here and while much of what we look at is practical repairs and things you should do, even the worst heating and plumbing problem so far isn’t fatal to your body, just possibly to your wallet. However, there is one very severe danger which can crop up in homes, particularly those with gas furnaces: carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is a chemical compound which is written like this: CO. It is made up of one carbon atom and one oxygen atom. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of burning gas; it’s the stuff that stinks near the exhaust pipes of cars and is the reason why cracked gas pipes must be replaced right away. The reason for this is simple: carbon monoxide is a poison which can swiftly suffocate living beings. It does this by stealing oxygen atoms from the air to form carbon dioxide which then kills living creatures since we can’t breathe it in! Carbon monoxide poisoning can also result in damaged lungs, difficulty breathing, headaches, nausea, fainting and difficulty nursing in infants as well as other severe health problems, when it doesn’t kill someone outright.
There are ways to prevent carbon monoxide from building up in your home, so long as you are sensible and take the time to do them.
Use Outdoor Equipment OUTSIDE! It should go without saying that BBQs, lawnmowers and snowblowers should stay outside, but it’s always worth saying again. These things produce a lot of carbon monoxide and while it hardly matters out in the open air, it can quickly build up in a closed system like a house.
- Make sure to clear any chimneys and vents of blockages such as ice.
- If you’re purchasing a new gas furnace or making any changes to your home’s ventilation systems, make sure that you talk to a plumbing and heating technician to ensure that these changes are done safely. And make sure that anything newly installed has good venting and that the heat exchanges are not cracked or damaged.
- Inspect and maintain your vents, chimneys and furnaces regularly.
- Make sure you fully open your garage door before starting the engine of your vehicle. (again, duh, but hey, why not say it again?)
- Keep you and your family well informed of carbon monoxide poisoning and get a good CO detector to warn you if there is a leak before people fall ill. Know who to call if there is a leak and have a good back-up plan in case you have to leave the house. Remember that if you detect CO, getting out as fast as you can is a good idea, but you don’t have to race out; just don’t stay there any longer than you absolutely need to.
It’s estimated that Carbon monoxide poisoning accounts for about 200 deaths a year in America and about 40,000 people go to the hospital with symptoms.
This isn’t accurate though since many cases of carbon monoxide poisoning go undiagnosed and untreated, so it’s difficult to say how many people are actually poisoned every year.
Don’t become one of these numbers! Take care of your ventilation systems, get a carbon monoxide detector and stay informed about the dangers of carbon monoxide. It could save your life or the life of someone you love some day.
For more information about proper heating and ventilation, feel free to contact Clearview Plumbing and Heating at
Clearview Plumbing and Heating is a Calgary Plumbing and Heating company based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada which is available round the clock to carry out any type of Calgary Plumbing or Heating job.
You can reach us any time at 403-220-0090.
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