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Heater Safety 101: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

You count on your heating system to keep your home warm and comfortable throughout the winter months. Any time you feel a chill, you can adjust the thermostat and expect a warm breeze of air to enter your home. But did you know that your heater could make your family sick?

Mission AC offers more than stellar technical services to all our customers — we also share the best safety tips and tricks about your HVAC system. If you don’t know the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, keep reading. Using some simple precautions in your home could save you from serious illness!

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that is produced as a byproduct of burning fossil fuels. Because of its lack of smell or color, it is especially difficult to detect. This is why it is referred to as ‘the silent killer’. If you have too much exposure to CO, your blood has a difficult time transporting oxygen around your body. You may experience symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning such as:

  • Labored breathing
  • Headaches
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea

Debunking The Myth

One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding CO poisoning is that your AC can produce this dangerous gas. However, your air conditioner does not burn fuel to cool your home, so your AC never produces the gas or introduces CO into your home. Your heater is another story.

If you have a gas-burning heater like a gas furnace, then CO is likely produced. However, CO gas is not just free to enter your home in large amounts. It takes a malfunction in your heater to leak the gas into your living spaces.

Sources & Prevention

One of the most common causes of leaking CO is a cracked heat exchanger in your furnace. If your furnace wears down over time and forms tiny holes or cracks, CO can leak out of them and into your home. This can be extremely dangerous for your family since you can’t detect the gas with your own senses! Luckily, there are a couple of ways to avoid the disastrous consequences of a CO leak.

CO Detectors

If you have a gas-burning appliance, make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed around your home. These devices will be able to alert you if the CO levels in your home rise to dangerous levels. *If your CO detectors alert you or you experience symptoms of CO poisoning, immediately exit your home.

Preventative Heater Maintenance

Another great way to avoid CO poisoning is to allow a professional the time to evaluate your furnace every year. Expert HVAC professionals know exactly what signs to look for that signify a potential leak or crack in your furnace. You can trust that they will recommend repairs or patches ahead of time so that your home is not affected by carbon monoxide.

Efficiency & Safety Are Our Priorities

Heater tune-ups give back to your home long after our technicians leave. Mission AC encourages you to feel confident in your home’s safety and comfort every single day of the year. Schedule your heater tune-up today!

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