What Is Carbon Monoxide Leakage?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is one of the lethal gases that are emitted with the combustion of fuels. The household furnace which mainly runs on fuels either gas or oil emits CO. However the units are designed in away, so that CO do not leak into the living space. The exhaust gas is made to vent through the flue. But sometimes some issues in the furnace can lead to leakage of the gas into your living space. CO is difficult to detect. And if it’s allowed to enter the rooms for long then the exposure can ca prove fatal. CO is therefore called a silent killer.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

The tasteless and odorless gas prevents the oxygen inhaled by the body to be carried to various organs of the body. The vital organs like brain, heart, and kidney are deprived of the life giving oxygen. It will cause brain damage and death. Children and elderly people with respiratory ailment are particularly susceptible to CO leakage. It can kill you within a short while if you end up inhaling the gas in highly concentrated form or slowly over long periods of time.

How is carbon monoxide generated?

Co can be emitted by all house hold appliances including cars, that run on combustible fuels. It is the by-product of incomplete fuel combustion such as natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal, gasoline or wood. Therefore care should be taken so that the device is properly installed, maintained and vented. These steps will ensure that any CO produced by these devices will not stay inside the home.

How to prevent CO infiltration inside the house?

• If you have a garage attached to your house, never the car running in it, even if the garage doors are open.
• Do not repair appliances that run on fuels on your own. If some faults stay even after the repair, they will make the device susceptive to leaking CO.
• Faulty venting or duct work leads to carbon monoxide inside your house.
• If you feel that the gas furnace is not producing enough heat, supplement it with a UL-Listed space heater. But always see to it that heater is vented well.
• Do not operate charcoal grills or camp stoves inside the house or in the garage.
• Do not operate gasoline powered devices in the house. In case you have to, make sure that it is vented properly.
• No should sleep in the house with a gas appliance that isn't connected to an exterior vent.

What are some symptoms?

Well it very difficult to detect leakage of CO from the furnace or other appliances. However a common symptom is frequent headaches, nausea, and dizziness, burning eyes, confusion, drowsiness and even loss of consciousness suffered by the members of the house. In case of a leakage, the pilot light of your furnace will give out yellowish flame instead of blue one. Other signs of carbon monoxide leakage are lines of smut spotted around the furnace; an upward draft cannot be seen in the chimney; too much moisture found in rooms near the windows , wails etc.; flue pipes and other such conduits are rusty; water trickling down the base of the chimney, vent, or flue pipe.

A safety step would be using a CO detector in the house. Locate it near your bedroom. If you have several bedrooms then you can use multiple detectors. Ensure that the devices are not guarded by the furniture or curtains. They should be able to sample the room air.




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