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Carbon Monoxide & Your IAQ
March 28, 2019
From upgrading your locks and windows to installing smoke detectors and security cameras, you do just about everything to make your home a safe space for your family. But are you remembering to protect your family from hidden dangers that could be lingering inside your home, right under your nose?
Without you knowing it, harmful carbon monoxide (CO) could be lingering in the air you breathe on a daily basis. In order to protect your home and family from CO, it’s important to understand the risks of CO exposure, where CO comes from, and how you can upgrade your home to keep your indoor air quality (IAQ) safe.
Why Carbon Monoxide Is Dangerous
Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is toxic in high concentrations. But that isn’t the only danger it poses. Even in lower concentrations or after short periods of exposure, carbon monoxide can cause symptoms like loss of balance, vision problems, confusion, memory problems, and loss of consciousness. People who have been exposed to CO may feel as though they have the flu, but without the temperature.
Even at very small levels, the longer a person is exposed to carbon monoxide, the more severe the symptoms become — and the greater the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Where Carbon Monoxide Comes From
In a home, carbon monoxide most commonly comes from malfunctioning combustion equipment, such as furnaces, boilers, water heaters, and stoves. This is because CO is a byproduct of incomplete combustion. If you have an appliance in your home which burns gas, oil, coal, or wood, you and your family are at risk of carbon monoxide exposure.
How to Protect Your Home from Carbon Monoxide
Schedule Regular Heating Maintenance
Like we mentioned, malfunctioning heating equipment is one of the most common sources of carbon monoxide. Heating maintenance by Excel keeps your furnace or boiler running smoothly and includes carbon monoxide testing to ensure CO isn’t seeping into your home.
Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Because CO is odorless and tasteless, you will not be able to detect carbon monoxide on your own, but smart technology can. Carbon monoxide detectors alert you before CO concentrations reach unsafe levels, giving you and your family time to escape and address IAQ issues before it’s too late.
Have questions about where to install CO detectors? Call Excel to schedule an evaluation on where to install detectors and which detectors are right for your home.
Upgrade to Whole-Home Ventilation
You may have bathroom fans and a range hood installed in your home, but these often are not enough to vent unhealthy indoor air out of your home — nor do they supply your home with fresh and clean air.
A whole-home ventilation system such as an ERV removes contaminated indoor air and replaces it with fresh and filtered air from the outdoors. With an ERV system, you can have the peace of mind that if carbon monoxide or other pollutants are lingering in your indoor air, they are being safely removed from your home.