Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can quickly become dangerous or fatal to someone if they inhale large amounts of it. This is particularly a concern for homeowners because many of the appliances in our home use natural gas to operate, yet that could cause an accumulation of CO. Here’s how to keep carbon monoxide out of your home.
Open the Garage Door With a Running Vehicle
When the engine inside your vehicle combusts gasoline, it gives off tons of carbon monoxide fumes. Even a suitably tuned engine can produce high concentrations of this gas. When you leave your car running while it’s in a garage with all the doors closed, carbon monoxide can accumulate to dangerously high levels, resulting in a fatality if you’re also in the garage. You must vent the space a running vehicle is in to avoid poisoning yourself with this undetectable gas.
Vent and Clean Your Fireplace
There are many more dangers of your fireplace other than causing a house fire. In fact, your dirty chimney and fireplace can affect your health in many ways, including leading to soot inhalation and skin irritation from creosote. Additionally, if your fireplace lacks proper ventilation, the gases from your fire have nowhere else to go and can cause an accumulation of carbon monoxide inside your home. Keep this gas out by venting your chimney and regularly cleaning your fireplace.
Service Your Water Heater, Furnace, and Gas-Burning Appliances
Any appliance in your home that needs natural gas to operate should receive professional servicing at least once a year. For one, it’s important to update your furnace because it improves the air quality inside your home and keeps your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning. Any other appliances, such as gas stoves, water heaters, or appliances that use coal, oil, or gas, must also receive attention to help prevent carbon monoxide from accumulating.
Never Use Generators Indoors
Similar to your vehicle, generators can produce carbon monoxide after combusting fuel. Therefore, you should never use a generator indoors to power your home if you need electricity in an emergency, such as a storm. Placing the generator outside is the best practice, and it can help keep carbon monoxide out of your home.
Update Carbon Monoxide Detectors
While carbon monoxide detectors can’t get rid of the poison gas, they can alert you when levels are dangerously high. If you fail to replace the batteries on this detector once a year, it won’t work correctly or warn you when you need to exit the home. Ensure you have one in your home, and remember to exchange the batteries so that the device keeps working. Carbon monoxide is a severe concern for homeowners because it can be hard to notice. However, you can prevent this poisonous gas from accumulating in your house by using the above methods. If you suspect you’re experiencing the symptoms of CO poisoning, such as lightheadedness, dizziness, or nausea, seek medical attention immediately.