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Blog By: Dustin Lano

According to the American Medical Association, there are about 450 deaths and 20,000 emergency room visits attributable to carbon monoxide poisoning each year. The majority of these happen in the winter months. That’s because this colorless, odorless gas is produced by incomplete combustion of fuel-burning devices, and faulty furnaces can often be the source.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, drowsiness and even nausea. Getting outside to fresh air immediately is advisable if you suspect you’ve been breathing carbon monoxide. Unfortunately, many victims die in their sleep, never knowing they were being poisoned.

Regular furnace checks are a good idea and devices that don’t vent to the outside should never be run in a confined area. For example, in the aftermath of events that caused power outages, people have died from running portable generators in their homes.

The best defense may be to have carbon monoxide detectors in your home. These will detect levels low enough to warn you before you have a life threatening situation. These range in price from about $25 to $50. That’s a very small price for the peace of mind they bring.

Posted 11:32 AM

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Mike Ellefson said...
Indoor Air Quality is a topic we work on often. And we see a lot of carbon monoxide dangers in homes around here. In my opinion, the old combustion furnaces and combustion water heaters should be banned but I still see plumbers/hvac crews replacing the old combustion appliances with the same (but new) combustion appliances. Be sure they switch them out to direct vent appliances when they need to be replaced. And it is possible to test your home to see if your home is susceptible to back-drafting. CO sensors are a good idea too but remember they need to be replaced every 3 years and should be placed directly above the appliance with the CO hazard.

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