Carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless, and colorless, making it unnoticeable without a carbon monoxide detector. Every year, CO poisoning kills more than 400 Americans, mostly in their homes, and sends 50,000 people to the emergency room for treatment.
Protecting your loved ones from carbon monoxide poisoning should be a top priority.
What Are Common Causes of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
The most common source of carbon monoxide leaks is malfunctioning gas-powered appliances, such as your natural gas or propane furnace, stove, water heater, clothes dryer, and fireplace (wood fireplaces can also be a CO hazard). Have these appliances inspected annually by an HVAC professional so they can troubleshoot any potential issues before tragedy strikes.
Thanks to remote start buttons or accidentally leaving the keys in the ignition, a growing source of CO is vehicles accidentally left running in attached garages. The auto exhaust can and will leak into the home. Another leading cause is when gas-powered equipment like a portable generator or power tool is used indoors or too near the garage. Cars with exhaust pipe leaks under the seats are the leading cause of accidental auto-related CO deaths.
Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement
Proper carbon monoxide detector placement is key to the effectiveness of the unit. Because the most common sources of carbon monoxide leaks are gas-powered appliances, we recommend placing carbon monoxide detectors near appliances such as your furnace, stove, water heater, clothes dryer, fireplace, and any other gas-powered appliance you may have. We also recommend having at least one carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, as well as one in your garage.
Use this carbon monoxide checklist to ensure that you and your family are safe from this danger.
To have the checklist handy, download and print this carbon monoxide checklist!
Carbon Monoxide Safety Checklist
- Install and test carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide buildup is typically caused by a malfunction in a gas-fired appliance such as a furnace, stove, or water heater. Be sure to install CO detectors near these appliances. Family members sleeping in the basement are at increased risk since they’re closer to these appliances. If you already have detectors on every level of your home, test them once a month to make sure they’re functioning properly. Don’t feel like doing it yourself? Aire Serv installs and inspects carbon monoxide detectors.
- Clean or replace furnace filters. Clogged furnace filters in your heating system could result in carbon monoxide fumes leaking into your home. Clean or replace filters at least every three months.
- Clean fireplace and chimney. Whether you have a gas or wood-burning fireplace, it’s important to have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected annually. Any debris buildup or blockage can cause carbon monoxide to make its way into your home. Schedule a fireplace and chimney inspection and cleaning at least once per year to make sure it’s safe for use.
- Clean dryer vents. Lint buildup in your dryer vents is dangerous. Not only can it cause carbon monoxide poisoning, but it’s also a common cause of house fires. Clean out your dryer vents at least twice a year to prevent lint from building up.
- Have gas stoves and ovens inspected. Have your gas stove and oven inspected to be sure there are no leaks or clogged vents. Any gas appliance in your home can cause carbon monoxide poisoning—gas stoves and ovens being the most common. Make sure they’re safe by keeping them well maintained and running properly.
- Schedule annual inspection and maintenance. Hire a professional technician from Aire Serv to thoroughly inspect your furnace, boiler, and water heating systems to ensure there are no issues that could cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Preventative maintenance can also extend the life of these systems and minimize unexpected breakdowns or repairs.
Find a Furnace Technician Near Me
Have your furnace and water heater inspected and maintained by an Aire Serv professional to ensure your home is safe from carbon monoxide. Request an appointment or call (855) 679-0011 today to get in touch with the Aire Serv location nearest you.