Carbon monoxide is one of the most insidious dangers for a homeowner and his or her family.
This gas is odorless, colorless and can only be detected with the use of highly sensitive monitoring equipment. It’s essential that you, the homeowner, understand the dangers of carbon monoxide and the precautions that should be taken to ensure the well-being of your family.
A silent and invisible killer
Carbon monoxide (CO) differs significantly from its cousin, carbon dioxide (CO2). While both can kill in a very short time, your body recognizes the danger of CO2 and alerts you to the danger with a shortness of breath. CO gives no such warning, and a person exposed to a sufficient quantity of the gas can die without ever knowing that they’re in danger.
Sources of CO
The primary sources of CO in a dwelling are from your automobile and the furnace in your HVAC system.
Most people are very careful to keep their garage door open when their car is running, greatly reducing the danger of CO. But CO fumes can linger long after your car is off, and poor sealing of the wall between your house and garage also can allow CO infiltration.
Also be aware of carbon monoxide that emanates from the HVAC system. Poor combustion and improperly sealed ductwork can lead to CO infiltration into the living spaces of your home. To avoid this problem, it’s essential that the furnace itself and all the associated ductwork be checked on a regular basis.
The best solution to the problems
Installing and running a garage exhaust fan can help clear out lingering CO fumes. It’s also important to make sure the wall and doors between the house and garage are well-sealed. And, while many homeowners are confident in their ability to check a furnace and its ductwork, it’s highly advisable to use a professional, certified HVAC technician for this important duty. Simply put, there’s nothing more important than the safety and well-being of your family. Use of carbon monoxide detectors in your house also is vital.
If you have any questions about these carbon monoxide facts or any other HVAC questions, please contact Rheem Pro Partner. Our knowledgeable staff is ready and willing to help.
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