As a naturally odorless and colorless gas, carbon monoxide is a silent killer. It is produced when fuel—such as oil, gas (natural and petroleum-based), kerosene, wood, charcoal or candles—is burned. With cold temperatures arriving soon, you can take important steps to prevent an accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
Tips to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Schedule an inspection. Hire an HVAC contractor or a qualified technician annually to inspect and maintain your heating and cooling systems, water heater and other appliances that use coal, oil or gas.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors. Place a detector on every level of your home and change the batteries every six months. If the alarm on one of the detectors sounds, open the doors and windows, turn off combustion appliances and evacuate your home.
- Clean the chimney. Hire a professional to inspect and clean your chimney annually. When using a fireplace or wood-burning stove, open the flue and vents. Only use the damper after extinguishing a fire.
- Only use approved appliances to heat your home. If there is a power outage, do not use a camp stove, gas or charcoal grill, lanterns, candles or a gas oven to heat your home.
- Vent space heaters. Ensure that kerosene and gas space heaters have proper ventilation before sleeping in a room that contains such an appliance.
- Warm the car up outside. Do not leave a vehicle idling in the garage, even if the door is open.
- Use paint removers only in well-ventilated shops. When a paint remover contains methylene chloride, the substance converts to carbon monoxide in the body.
Know the Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
At low levels, carbon monoxide can cause mild headaches, mild nausea and shortness of breath. At higher levels, the gas can cause dizziness, nausea, confusion and fainting. If anyone in the home experiences carbon monoxide-related symptoms, but feel better when they go outside, seek immediate medical attention.
For more advice about preventing carbon monoxide poisoning or to schedule an inspection of your heating and cooling appliances, contact Arpi’s Industries, Ltd. at 403-236-2444 or online. We’ve served the Calgary area for more than 50 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning and other HVAC topics, downloadour free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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