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The Dangers of Appliances Leaking Carbon Monoxide

Jun 20, 2008
One of the biggest killers in the home is one that you can't see, smell, taste or hear - it is carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a type of toxic gas that is colorless, tasteless and odorless and is produced as a by product of combustion. Being exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide will kill a person as it works as inhibitor and will prevent the blood from carrying oxygen around the body to vital organs. As you know, your body needs a fresh supply of oxygen to survive and without it, organs begin to shut down.

Each and every appliance that burns fuel has the potential to become a deadly producer of carbon monoxide and if this leaks into your home it can have fatal effects. Appliances that can create carbon monoxide include - gas stoves and driers, fireplaces, woodstoves, non electric fuel fired furnaces and automobiles.

In other words, every home will have at least one, if not more appliances that create carbon monoxide, so you should know how to protect yourself and others against carbon monoxide poisoning. You should also know how to spot the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning in order to get someone suffering from it the correct medical attention. Here is what to look for if you suspect a carbon monoxide leak in your home:

-People may complain of headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, flu like symptoms and confusion - all of these are signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

-The symptoms above may reduce when away from the home for periods of time, only returning when you return home again.

-More than one person in the household will experience these symptoms, the elderly and the young are at a particular risk so they should always be monitored.

-There could be a lot of moisture on the walls.

-The air will feel very stale and stuffy.

-When a stove or other fuel burning appliance is turned on you may experience a strong smell of gas.

-If you check the pilot light or burner on appliances it will be burning yellow or orange and not blue as they should be.

-Around the exhaust vent or chimney there will be a build up white chalky powder or soot like substance.

-The pilot lights on the furnace or water heater will go out for no apparent reason.

If you spot any of these things then you should get the possibility of a carbon monoxide leak checked out by a professional who can isolate the leak and deal with it safely. It is very important that you get appliances checked every year to make sure that they are not producing carbon monoxide and are running safely. All appliances should be fitted by a professional to ensure that you are not at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning due to badly fitted appliances. This in itself kills countless people each year around the world because they thought they could fit air conditioning or a heater themselves. Never take a chance with appliances. As an extra form of protection you can also fit carbon monoxide detectors that will go off if carbon monoxide is found to be in your home.

To get new air conditioning, heating or other appliances installed correctly, contact your local HVAC technician so that they can provide you with installation and repairs you can trust.
About the Author
Giant Mechanical is a leading Chicago area company that provides Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and a variety of other services. Find out how Giant Mechanical can help you with your commercial, residential, or institutional needs by visiting http://www.giantmechanical.com.
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