Why is carbon monoxide hazardous?
When carbon monoxide, or CO, accumulates to a certain point in your blood, death can occur. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless gas and exposure to it is life threatening.
Even continued low-level exposure to carbon monoxide can permanently damage your brain and vital organs.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause symptoms that are similar to the flu or the cold. So, one may not even realize that they are breathing gas.
What causes heating system problems that could potentially cause carbon monoxide poisoning? Higher efficiency appliances for saving money often do not perform as well for use in an existing chimney flue. Improper sizing ratios between the new appliance and the flue it is being vented into may cause toxic gases to enter the home. Similarly, the fact that houses are more air tight today than ever before allow less fresh air into the home, and appliances that do not receive enough fresh air input may not burn their fuels completely, creating carbon monoxide.
When any type of fuel is being burned it is important to remember that carbon monoxide is not the only danger to your health- toxic nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter,and acid water vapors can also be emitted depending on the conditions existing when the fire is being burned.
There are many steps you can take to prevent a carbon monoxide hazard. Keep blockage in the flue system from nesting material or other debris from occurring by installing a chimney cap.
When gases can’t exit the flue they will back up into the home creating a dangerous situation. Nesting materials are also a fire hazard. Chimney inspection regularly is the best way to prevent a possible hazard from occurring. The professional can check the integrity of your existing flue system and any connector pipes in appliances for rust or other problems.
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