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The importance of carbon monoxide testing

Posted on: October 11, 2012

This isn’t exactly local news, but it’s worth knowing – an elderly couple in Lexington, KY was rushed to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning. Both husband and wife were not severely injured, but carbon monoxide detectors were going off when rescue personnel entered the home. “The [CO] levels were high enough where it could have been life-threatening if they had stayed in the house any longer,” says Major Samuelson of the Lexington fire department.

Winter Carbon Monoxide Safety

Around this time of year, we want to remind everyone about the dangers of carbon monoxide and how they can keep themselves safe. Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels like natural gas are burned “incompletely.” To picture this, think of a gas stove. Most of the flames are blue, but occasionally you’ll see a yellow flame flicker for a second or two – this indicates an incomplete burn, and usually happens if the burner elements are dirty or if air impurities are leaking into the burner.

Early to mid-fall is a particularly dangerous time of year for carbon monoxide poisonings – there’s a chance that your furnace developed cracks or air leaks in the flue and vent pipes. Cracks in your vent pipes mean that any carbon monoxide created can make its way back into your home.

Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

The biggest danger of carbon monoxide is that it can’t be detected by any of your senses. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, the only way you’ll know you’re at risk is if you can recognize the symptoms – Flu-like symptoms including nausea, fatigue, light-headedness and vomiting

Installing a Low-Level Carbon Monoxide Detector

At James A. Wheat & Sons, we want to make sure everyone has a safe, healthy and comfortable winter season. Our Eagle Service agreements include a heating system tune up where we’ll inspect both your heater and water heater for potential carbon monoxide leaks and we’ll be able to recommend next steps for how to stay safe, including furnace repair and gas water heater repair. We also sell low-level carbon monoxide detectors that will alert you to carbon monoxide levels are below to standard 70 PPM, keeping you much safer and helping you take care for the problem before it gets serious. We can install carbon monoxide detectors during a routine furnace tune-up, or we can install one as a separate service trip.

This winter, make sure you keep yourself and your family safe. Carbon monoxide poisoning accidentally kills more than 600 people every year – many times, entire families who sleep through the symptoms. CO leaks can occur in any home – even ones that don’t use fuel-burning appliances – and can quickly build up to dangerous levels. If you want to install a carbon monoxide detector in Maryland or Washington, DC, or if you need a seasonal furnace inspection, call James A. Wheat & Sons today!