With winter weather starting to settle in, homeowners are going to start to fire up their heating systems to keep away the chill. One of the major dangers of furnaces is the potential for leaks, which can let a dangerous gas called carbon monoxide fill your home.
You probably have a smoke detector installed in your home, but do you have a carbon monoxide detector? If you do, are you sure that it works? Without functioning carbon monoxide detectors, you’ll have no way of knowing when you’re at risk of poisoning from this silent killer.
The dangers of carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide is deadly. It has the ability to replace the oxygen that our bodies and lungs need to function, poisoning us slowly. Carbon monoxide poisoning can sometimes lead to flu-like symptoms, like headaches and nausea, and exposure can be fatal.
Carbon monoxide is known as the “silent killer” because the gas is colorless, odorless and largely undetectable. This is why it is so important to have a functioning carbon monoxide detector in your home.
One of the leading causes of carbon monoxide poisoning is from leaking furnaces or boilers. If you’re running your furnace and it has a leak, there’s a good chance you could be filling your home with carbon monoxide. It doesn’t take long for this deadly gas to reach all corners of the home.
Older furnaces are at the greatest risk of leaking carbon monoxide. Even if your furnace is relatively new, though, hoses can become disconnected, cracks can form and leaks can spring seemingly out of nowhere, potentially putting you and your family at risk.
Installing and testing alarms
If your home doesn’t have a carbon monoxide detector, it’s critical that you purchase and install one. Carbon monoxide alarms emit loud noises like a fire alarm when they detect high levels of carbon monoxide in the area. You should have one alarm installed near your furnace, as well as one on every floor of your home. Make sure your alarm is at around knee height and is not obstructed by furniture or other items.
Change your carbon monoxide detector’s batteries twice a year when you change the batteries in your smoke alarm. Ideally, you should continue to test your carbon monoxide detector once a week to be sure it’s functioning.
Testing your carbon monoxide alarm should be one of the first things you do before turning your furnace on this winter. By making sure this alarm works, you’re ensuring that, should your furnace leak, you’ll be alerted to the problem right away.
Additionally, you should contact an HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA to have your furnace inspected before the winter season. This inspection helps make sure your furnace is in working condition and can be instrumental in spotting leaks before they become dangerous. If there is a leak, the professional can help fix it or install a new furnace to keep you safe.
McGee Refrigeration should be your go-to HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA. We offer a breadth of services, from residential AC and heating repair to commercial restaurant equipment maintenance. Call today for a free estimate!