While the state of Florida is known for its warm climate and sunny views, residents understand the need for an effective heating system when temperatures plummet. If you have a gas furnace in your home, you should understand what carbon monoxide is and how you can protect you and your family from this harmful gas.
Carbon monoxide is a clear, odorless gas that is produced by the gas-burning appliances in your home. If you have a gas water heater, then a flue must be installed to carry the carbon monoxide that is created out of your home. The same can be said of your heating system; if you have a gas furnace, then that furnace is associated with a flue that not only lets fresh air in to aid in the combustion process, but also that allows the gases that are created to escape from your home safely. If carbon monoxide leaks into your home and your family breathes it in, it can cause brain damage or even death. The first symptoms of poisoning include nausea, headache and fatigue.
What Causes a Leak?
When your heating system is properly installed, it is designed to safely remove this byproduct of the combustion process from your home. The heat exchanger, or the location in which the heat is actually produced, is what contains the gas. It escapes through a flue that generally stretches from the location of your heating system out through your roof. The most common cause of carbon monoxide leaks is a cracked heat exchanger, but there are some other things like a blocked flue or even cracks in the flue itself that may allow for the gas to escape into your home.
The absolute best thing that you can do as a homeowner to protect your family against carbon monoxide poisoning is to make sure that you have your gas furnace serviced each year. During our inspection, we will check all of the different aspects of your HVAC system that may pose not only mechanical problems, but also dangerous issues like carbon monoxide poisoning. Similarly, you can install detectors in your home to alert you if this dangerous gas is present. These are available as stand-alone monitors or along with fire detectors. Some companies that provide home alarm systems will also help you monitor for carbon monoxide.
What to Do if Carbon Monoxide is Present
In the event that your carbon monoxide detector alerts you to the presence of this gas, the first thing you should do is assess the symptoms of everyone in your family. If anyone reports a headache, an ill feeling, dizziness or extreme fatigue, you should evacuate your home and dial 911. If no one is experiencing any symptoms, then you can turn off all of your gas-burning appliances, reset the alarm, and then see if it continues to sound. If it continues to sound, please contact us here at A Superior Air Conditioning so that we can evaluate your system.
As always, we take your family’s safety and comfort very seriously. By installing carbon monoxide detectors and allowing us to inspect your gas-powered heating system annually for issues, you can better protect yourself and your family from this silent, odorless and colorless killer.