Carbon Monoxide’s Impact on Indoor Air Quality

March 19, 2020

Carbon Monoxide's Impact on Indoor Air QualityMost safety risks in your Monroe home will have obvious signs. For example, if your house is on fire, you’ll smell the smoke and see the flames. Or, if a pipe bursts in your basement, you’ll hear the rushing water as it shoots out into the room.

However, there is a threat that’s completely undetectable using any of your senses even though it’s just as dangerous as a house fire. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that can creep into your Charlotte home from a variety of sources. What follows is a discussion of how to respond to this risk to keep you and your family safe from harm.

Where Does It Come From?

Though carbon monoxide is difficult to detect, many items produce it. For example, cars produce carbon monoxide when their engines are running. This means that if you have an attached garage, carbon monoxide can enter your home through the door that connects your home and your garage.

Though we want you to be aware of all sources of carbon monoxide, we at Healthy Home Heating and Air primarily want to focus on the one we can help you with: your furnace. If you have a gas furnace, there always exists a low risk of carbon monoxide exposure in your home. It’s also important to note that a gas water heater can cause the same risks, so keep that in mind as we’re talking about gas furnaces.

One possible cause of carbon monoxide release is if the burner in your furnace isn’t combusting the gas completely. If there are yellow flames in your burner, it’s important to call professionals right away, as that could indicate incomplete combustion that may result in the release of carbon dioxide.

Another issue that can cause carbon monoxide to be released is a crack in your furnace flue. As the carbon monoxide travels up the chimney, any cracks can cause the carbon monoxide to be drawn back through the chimney and out into the room. Therefore, it’s important to have your flue inspected annually by Healthy Home Heating and Air to ensure it is in perfect condition.

A third problem you may run into is that of backdrafting. A backdraft is when the gases rising up through your flu are drawn back into your home by a device causing negative pressure.

A prime example would be a dryer, which draws air out through the dryer vent as it’s drying your clothes. If the dryer is located close to the furnace, such as in a utility room, the sudden pressure change could cause the carbon monoxide to be drawn into your home.

Risks of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide in any concentration can be harmful to your health. However, for most healthy people, concentrations below 70 parts per million, or ppm, won’t cause any noticeable health effects. If a carbon monoxide detector detects any level of carbon monoxide, though, it’s a good idea to have your furnace inspected by Healthy Home Heating and Air.

At concentrations of 70 ppm and higher, symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, and mild to severe headaches may begin to appear. Move into the 150 to 200 ppm level, and you begin dealing with the loss of consciousness, significant disorientation, or even death. If a furnace is malfunctioning in a well-sealed home, it will not take long for these concentrations to be reached, meaning you need to constantly be monitoring your indoor air quality.

What to Do

The single best thing you can do to prevent carbon monoxide risks is to install carbon monoxide detectors around your home. The key is to not install them too close to any gas-burning appliances, as these can set off the detectors even if they don’t have a problem. You’ll also want to place the detectors in spots where they can be heard at any location in your home.

Additionally, you’ll want to have your furnace maintained annually to ensure that its components are working properly. If a problem is discovered, a technician from Healthy Home Heating and Air will be able to correct it promptly.

At Healthy Home Heating and Air, we take your safety seriously. That’s why we offer indoor air quality testing to ensure your home is free from dangerous substances that can harm you and your family.

We also take your comfort seriously. That’s why we offer complete repair and maintenance services for furnaces and air conditioners. Or, if it’s time to replace your unit, we can do that, as well.

With over 20 years of HVAC experience, you can be sure that we’ve seen it all and can handle it all, no matter what type of issue you’re experiencing. Our customers love our professionalism and expertise, as evidenced by our numerous 5-star reviews. If you’re ready to make your home a healthier place, give us a call today.

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