Does Your Home Have a Carbon Monoxide Leak?

carbon monoxide leakWith winter approaching, more homeowners are firing up their furnaces to keep their homes cozy. However, with warming the home comes the risk of a carbon monoxide leak. Here’s how to recognize the signs that this deadly gas is entering your home and how to respond.

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide, abbreviated as CO, is a toxic flammable gas. It is often undetectable because it’s colorless and odorless. This has given it the much-deserved nickname, the “silent killer.”

When you inhale CO, the gas inhibits your blood’s ability to transport oxygen to your organs, resulting in asphyxiation.

What Causes a Carbon Monoxide Leak?

CO is produced when fuel sources like oil, wood, and coal do not fully burn. Appliances like a gas furnace, water heater, cooking stove, and car engine can emit CO. This can occur if any of these appliances are running less than optimally. With a furnace, a CO leak can occur due to a crack in the heat exchanger.

Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Since CO is odorless and colorless, you will have to rely on other signs, which include:

  • Migraines
  • Breathlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Reduced indoor air quality; the air may feel stale or stuffy

Carbon Monoxide Leak Prevention

Have the heater and air conditioning unit inspected on an annual basis. A CO leak is often due to worn parts in older units. Another alternative is to consider a replacement. With a modern ductless heating system, electricity is used in lieu of gas. This completely eliminates the risk of a CO leak, at least from the HVAC. Certainly, you should install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

We Inspect Furnaces

We understand that you want to keep your home cozy for the holidays. However, don’t shun the safety inspections before firing up the furnace, stove, or chimney. Call WestCoast Heating & Air for such an inspection or even a full HVAC replacement. This drastically reduces the risk of a carbon monoxide leak.

Furnace Repair and Installation

Serving Puyallup, Sumner, Orting, Graham, Bonney Lake, Tacoma, Pierce County, Parkland, Waller & Summit