Stay Warm and Protect Your Family with a Fall Furnace Tune-Up
There are many benefits to having a furnace tune-up in the fall. Your furnace will run more efficiently. You’ll save on energy bills. Your home will be more comfortable. And your furnace will be much less likely to break down this winter. But the air conditioner and furnace technicians at Heartland Quality Heating and Cooling believe the number one reason to have a furnace tune-up is to protect your family from deadly carbon monoxide gas.
Where Does Carbon Monoxide Gas Come From?
All fuel burning appliances (like your furnace, stove, water heater, fireplace, or generator) create a by-product known as carbon monoxide. This product must be ventilated to the outside. Faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly-vented fuel-burning appliances can cause a buildup inside a home or other building. Because carbon monoxide (also known as CO) is odorless, colorless, and poisonous, people can be overcome by it without realizing it. It is often called the silent killer because it is so hard to detect.
Carbon Monoxide Is a Real Threat
Believe it or not, in the United States alone, more than 150 people die every year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Many more are sent to the hospital. It is important to know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning so it is not confused with the flu. The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are very similar to the flu, but don’t include a fever. They include:
- Shortness of breath
People with high level carbon monoxide poisoning present more severe symptoms, including:
- Mental confusion
- Loss of muscular coordination
- Loss of consciousness
CO Safety Precautions Every Person Should Take
It’s important to take precautions to prevent accidental poisoning. Here are the top five you should take:
- Get a furnace tune-up/safety check every season by a professional technician
- Have your chimneys and vents inspected as well
- Never use a portable generator in an enclosed area like a garage or home (even if doors and windows are open)
- Never use a charcoal grill inside the house for heating or cooking.
- Do not barbecue in the garage
- Never use a gas stove or oven for heating your home
- Open the damper in the fireplace before starting a fire
- Install battery operated carbon monoxide alarms in your home – especially outside sleeping areas
If you suspect CO poisoning, get outside to fresh air as fast as possible and then call 911.
To schedule a furnace tune-up and carbon monoxide safety check, call Heartland Quality Heating and Cooling at (816) 525-2031.