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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Signs, Symptoms, and Prevention Tips

Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that can be deadly if not detected early. It is produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as gas, oil, and wood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning each year, and more than 20,000 visit the emergency room. As an HVAC 2.0 company, we want to educate our customers about the dangers of carbon monoxide and provide them with practical tips to prevent CO poisoning.

1. Understand the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning

CO poisoning can be misdiagnosed as the flu or a headache because the symptoms are similar, such as nausea, headache, dizziness, weakness, chest pain, and confusion. However, if multiple people in the same room experience these symptoms, it's a warning sign of CO poisoning. Pets can also be affected by CO and show signs of lethargy or difficulty breathing.

2. Install CO detectors in every level of your home

CO detectors are the best defense against CO poisoning. They should be installed on every level of your home, including the basement and garage, and near every sleeping area. Test your CO detectors monthly and replace them every 5-7 years. If your CO detector goes off, evacuate your home immediately and call 911.

3. Schedule regular HVAC maintenance

Your HVAC system plays a crucial role in preventing CO poisoning because it vents out the harmful gases from your home. However, if your furnace, boiler, or water heater is malfunctioning, it can produce CO. That's why it's essential to schedule annual HVAC maintenance with a licensed technician who can inspect, clean, and tune-up your system. A well-maintained HVAC system can also save you money on energy bills and prolong the lifespan of your equipment.

4. Don't use gas-powered tools indoors

Gas-powered tools such as generators, lawn mowers, and pressure washers produce CO and should never be used indoors, even if the garage door is open. Always use them outside, at least 20 feet away from your home, and downwind from open windows and doors.

5. Don't block your vents

Blocked vents can cause a buildup of CO in your home. Make sure your vents are not obstructed by furniture, curtains, or other objects. Keep your outdoor vents clear of snow, leaves, and debris, especially during the winter months.

American Weathermakers

In conclusion, carbon monoxide poisoning is a preventable tragedy that requires awareness, education, and action. By understanding the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning, installing CO detectors, scheduling regular HVAC maintenance, avoiding gas-powered tools indoors, and not blocking your vents, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from CO poisoning. At American Weathermakers Inc, we offer comprehensive HVAC services, including CO testing and inspection. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and ensure your home is safe from CO.

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