Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that is emitted by fuel-burning appliances. Several systems and appliances in your home, ranging from the furnace and water heater to your stove, may give off CO in small amounts that are considered acceptable. But when this level becomes too high your family’s health is could be at risk. Therefore, it is vital to be aware of the facts concerning carbon monoxide and what it means for your home.
What Is Carbon Monoxide?
Just what is carbon monoxide? Carbon monoxide could be lurking in your house at any given time and you would never know it without the proper detection tools. It is a toxic gas with no odor, taste or color. Lower levels of exposure can cause flu-like symptoms including fatigue, nausea, headaches and dizziness. Severe exposure can cause seizures, serious disorientation and even death. Many people contact their physicians because they think they’ve come down with the flu or have something more serious, like chronic fatigue syndrome, only to find out that they have carbon monoxide poisoning.
What to Do to Stay Safe
While carbon monoxide detectors are useful in determining high levels of CO, not all of them will tell you when lower levels are present. The most accurate way to determine how safe your home is is to have a well-trained contractor perform a test using a digital carbon monoxide analyzer. A trustworthy contractor will:
- Have proof of approved training.
- Let you know that carbon monoxide testing is included in his regular service and show that it has been performed on the work invoice.
- Test your entire living space and all appliances to find the source of CO, if any.
- Show you the actual results of the test.