Calgary Heating: Carbon monoxide a needless death toll again this year
It’s a silent killer: Carbon Monoxide kills over 500 people each year across North America, and this number could be widely underestimated. Current research indicates that the number of deaths could be well over 2000.
It’s always a tragedy when a family is struck down by something that is preventable. There are many accounts in the news of individuals or entire families admitted to the hospital for Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. Luckily, in almost 40,000 of these cases each year, they escaped with their lives.
Why does Carbon Monoxide strike some homes and not others?
One common cause is improper venting. As cited in a case that occurred in an Idaho apartment complex, a poorly vented water heater resulted in the leaking of CO throughout the building. Unlike gas, CO doesn’t smell and your body can absorb it more quickly than even that of oxygen. Headaches or nausea can indicate CO poisoning, but by the time you start showing symptoms you have already become exposed to and absorbed a massive amount of CO.
Preventing CO leaks is easy if you practice common sense. Hire a professional and get them to check your furnace and water heater for leaks. It’s best to perform these checks on an annual basis to ensure that you have a sound system.
Carbon Monoxide leaks are not commonplace, yet you should keep in mind that parts of your furnace can develop fine cracks over time. As well, the flue pipes that are responsible for emitting CO exhaust outside of your home can become corroded over time. Have a service professional check for these issues, and ask them to examine the flue pipes in case they have become disconnected.
Purchasing a CO detector can save your life.
A family in California recently had their air ducts cleaned out, and the company they hired did a poor job of reconnecting the flue to the furnace. The result was a deadly seepage of Carbon Monoxide. If they wouldn’t have had the alarm in place, the family surely would not have woke up in the morning. The elevation of CO in the home was 118 parts per million, which is 3 times greater than the 35 parts per million level that indicates to fire fighters that they need to wear a mask. Purchasing more than one Carbon Monoxide detector is vital, especially in a large home. Another preventive step is to only hire companies to service your furnace that is licensed to work on such an appliance. As this family discovered, a duct cleaning company is not knowledgeable enough to work on a furnace.
There are many companies who will try to get your business by advertising that they are able to perform jobs they are not skilled or licensed to do. Always be sure that a permit, especially something such as the installation of your heating system, is provided for major work. Contractors such as this can walk away with a slap on the wrist, but you could lose your life.
Backdrafting is the result of air that is exhausted from our homes through kitchen, dryer, or bathroom vents. Backdrafting occurs when the exhaust may depressurize within your home. When mixed with wind, the pressure differential can overwhelm your ventilation, reversing the flow of exhaust back into your home. The result of this situation? CO poisoning can make its way into your home. As homes have grown tighter and tighter in construction, the problem of backdrafting has become worse. The only prevention for this problem is a properly installed high efficiency furnace and water heater, that both feature powerful ventilation systems.
Unfortunately there are certain circumstances where CO poisoning is the consumer’s fault.
Leaving your car running in your garage is foolish and extremely dangerous, resulting in CO to leak into your home and sending many a person to the hospital. Burning a gas light stove or wood burning fire place inside your home can also generate CO. Generators should not be run within a home either. Your best protection is becoming educated about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide, getting some detectors for your home, and always replacing the batteries on a bi-yearly basis.
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.
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Keywords: high efficiency furnace, CO leaks, Carbon Monoxide, service your furnace