Carbon Monoxide, or CO, is a naturally-occurring gas. Too much CO, however, leads to CO poisoning, a common and preventable danger. In this blog, we’ll cover where carbon monoxide comes from, why it’s dangerous and how you can protect your family in your Redlands or Loma Linda, California home.
What is Carbon Monoxide
When something burns fossil fuels, it produces the gas, carbon monoxide. Examples of fossil fuels are gasoline, wood, charcoal and propane. Sources of production include oil and gas furnaces, automobiles, gas-fueled generators, grills and gas fireplaces, among others. The gas is odorless, colorless and accumulates quickly in tightly-sealed or enclosed spaces.
Why is Carbon Monoxide Dangerous
When carbon monoxide rises to high levels in a home, it makes occupants ill and may seriously damage brain tissue. In extreme levels, CO poisoning is lethal. Unlike smoke, it does not rise.
When CO accumulates in the air you breathe, your body replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells with CO. This prevents oxygen from reaching your tissues and organs.
Symptoms, in many cases, do not draw much attention because they’re similar to the flu. Also, poisoning often happens quickly. Many victims don’t realize it or sleep through it.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
There are several symptoms of CO poisoning, including:
- Blurred vision
- Dull headache
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath and
- Loss of consciousness.
Based on these symptoms, it’s easy to imagine why some people dismiss them. Many of them are similar to influenza or an ordinary virus.
How to Protect Your Family in Redlands, California from CO Poisoning
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
First, install carbon monoxide detectors. Sanborn’s Air Conditioning and Heating is happy to help with this task. Our team will review your options and install if necessary. Some manufacturers make a smoke and CO combination detector.
Install CO detectors low on the wall, about knee-height. This is to match the approximate height of your head while sleeping. Smoke detectors should be placed higher or on the ceiling. If you select a combo unit, defer to the smoke detector installation guidelines. Test them regularly to make sure the battery or power source is sound.
Second, take precautions such as regular inspections of your gas furnace. The team at Sanborn’s provides these as well with tune-ups. Over time, cracks develop in the heat exchanger in your furnace. Other factors accelerate crack formation, such as a lack of maintenance or a stressed system.
Routine maintenance includes a thorough inspection, as well as addresses the issues which contribute to premature cracks.
Use Appliances Properly
Third, use fuel-burning appliances as recommended. Never heat your home with a gas stove or oven. Only use portable camp stoves outdoors. Do not use fuel-burning space heaters unless someone is awake to monitor them. Also, do not run a generator in an enclosed space, like a basement or garage. Same goes for grills.
In our climate, it’s easy to assume it’s okay to pull a grill into the garage during a rain shower. Do not cook with it in an enclosed space either. When using any of these portable or alternative fuel devices, do so outdoors or with plenty of ventilation, such as open doors and windows.
Conclusion: Why Contact Sanborn’s in Redlands, CA to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Dangers
If you’re a homeowner in Grand Terrace, Loma Linda or anywhere in the Redlands area, Sanborn’s is available for your air quality and HVAC service, repair and installation needs. We care about your health and safety as well as your comfort.
Take precautions against CO poisoning and call us with any air quality or HVAC questions. We encourage you to take advantage of our preventative HVAC service agreement we call the 5 Star Comfort Plan. It’s a great value and convenience. Plus it saves you time and money!
Call or submit an appointment request form today.