It gets fairly cold in the Fox Valley area, and home heating systems are essential for homeowners. However, there are some risks associated with running a gas-fueled heating system. One of the leading risks is the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when carbon monoxide produced by burning gas enters a confined area and reaches toxic levels. If a person is exposed to carbon monoxide fumes, they can become dizzy, get headaches, pass out, and even die if exposure is too long.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) reports that there are approximately 10,000 exposures and 200 deaths related to carbon monoxide poisoning annually. Carbon Monoxide is dangerous, but this shouldn’t scare you from owning a gas-fueled heating appliance. At The Chimney Guy, we want you to help you become more aware of all the facts when it comes to owning a gas appliance.

Inspections and cleaning

masonry chimneyOne of the best things you can do to prevent carbon monoxide exposure is to have your heating ventilation systems inspection every year by a CSIA certified technician. At The Chimney Guy, all our our technicians are CSIA-certified. We have been trained to identify potential problem areas in your system that may cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home. Oftentimes, carbon monoxide will leak into a home because of blockages. That’s why it is important to have a professional check your ventilation system regularly. If we discover a blockage in your system, we will recommend the best option have, which is a professional ventilation cleaning.

What you can do

We can’t emphasize enough about the importance of scheduling your annual heating system inspection and cleaning. However, there are a few things that you can do at home to prevent exposure to carbon monoxide. You should always make sure your ventilation system is free of debris. You can do this by going outside to the location where heating, chimney, or dryer ventilation exits your home. Using a flashlight to look inside the vent opening when it isn’t in use. Make sure there is no debris, such as snow, leaves, or animal nests that are plugging your ventilation.

Some other things you can do in your home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is:

  • Change your furnace filter annually.
  • Keep areas around your furnace clean and free of debris.
  • Make sure your furnace flame is burning correctly. The flame should be blue and not orange or yellow..

Get a carbon monoxide detector

A carbon monoxide detector works similar to a smoke alarm. Everyone should have a carbon monoxide detector in their home. If carbon monoxide is detected in your home, an alarm goes off. If the detector goes off, you need to leave your home immediately, get fresh air outside, and call 911. You need to also make sure and check the expiration date on your detector and replace the batteries regularly.

If you have any concerns regarding ventilation and carbon monoxide, don’t hesitate to call The Chimney Guy at 920-830-1920 or schedule an appointment to have one of our ventilation experts inspect your system today!