If you don’t know what carbon monoxide is, we recommend doing a few internet searches after reading this blog post. While we hope that everyone knows what it is, it’s particularly important that homeowners and gas furnace owners, in particular, know about carbon monoxide, since it can be a threat when a heating system has been neglected.
Carbon monoxide doesn’t have a smell, color, or taste. What it does have, is the ability to cause nausea, memory loss, fatigue, unconsciousness, and even worse terrible side effects on your health if it’s breathed in. If you’ve ever wondered why we call so often for heater repair in Boerne, TX—this is the reason. A neglected furnace, or a furnace that forgoes maintenance even though its got a blocked exhaust pipe or a cracked heat exchanger, will start leaking carbon monoxide if you’re not careful.
So, listen up and take note if any of the following things sound familiar.
What Is Carbon Monoxide and How Does It Form?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, toxic flammable gas that is produced when the combustion process occurs and there’s not enough oxygen to produce carbon dioxide. While it still has one atom of oxygen in it, it’s not enough oxygen to appropriately carry oxygen through the rest of your body, resulting in asphyxiation when it is breathed in. If you’ve got a gas furnace, a gas stove, or a car with an engine, you’re producing carbon monoxide on a daily basis.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Since it’s odorless and colorless, it’s hard to detect without a detector. However, it can be detected when you notice one of the following symptoms.
- Dizziness, headache, disorientation, visual impairment. If you notice any of these things going on with your head, you might be suffering from a lack of oxygen in your blood and carbon monoxide poisoning. Contact the fire department and see a doctor immediately.
- Heart and respiratory disease. Slow carbon monoxide poisoning over time can cause heart or respiratory disease.
- Muscle weakness, cramps, seizures, fatigue. Since carbon monoxide inhibits the flow of oxygen to your muscles, it can cause muscle cramps or seizures when you’re under the effect.
- Nausea or stomach pain. This is another obvious sign of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you’re suffering from a loss of appetite, nausea, or stomach pain, contact the fire department and your doctor today.
The Best Cure Is Prevention
Carbon monoxide poisoning, while incredibly dangerous, is easy to prevent with the right amount of vigilance and tools.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. These handy tools can let you know immediately when there is a presence of carbon monoxide.
- If you’re the owner of a gas furnace, schedule yearly maintenance so a professional technician can notice any leaks before they become a problem.
- If you feel any discomfort or relate to any of the symptoms listed above, contact a trustworthy HVAC professional as well as your doctor to make sure you’re not suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Stay safe and happy holidays from the team at D’Spain Sales & Service. Call us if you’ve got any questions about your gas furnace!