What is your Carbon Monoxide Detector Saying?
Most of us know and understand the dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. You know – that odorless, colorless gas that will kill you at high levels after a significant amount of time. However, what you may not know is that CO poisoning can slowly poison your body with low doses over a large period of time. While the exposure may not be deadly, it can cause other serious health problems such as depression, chronic fatigue, fainting spells, blurred vision, and body weakness. Even with all this knowledge, many of us do not understand what our carbon monoxide detector is telling us, and even if we do understand, we don’t really have a plan for what to do when the detector goes off.
After working in the HVAC industry for over 2 years (no – I am not a technician), I have learned of the dangers of carbon monoxide and how common CO leaks put our homes and families in danger. About 2 years ago I purchased an awesome CO detector: the top of the line. I went home and installed the backup battery, plugged it in, forgot about it shortly thereafter. This last spring my forgotten CO detector started beeping at me and displayed a slew of numbers. Imagine a slightly annoying “chirping” sound, much different from the horrifying sound your smoke alarm makes after burning a bag of popcorn in the microwave. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what it was and I wasn’t too concerned because it only happened when I ran my gas dryer. In my mind, I believed that a CO leak would warrant a bigger reaction from my detector and that I probably just […]
What is your Carbon Monoxide Detector Saying?
Carbon monoxide, as you know, is the gas that is produced from the incomplete burning of different fuels. Those fuels range from, the gas that your range, fireplace, and furnace use. To the gas that is used to fuel your car, all of those items produce carbon monoxide that can and will kill you if not handled with care and/or used properly or with proper venting. Carbon Monoxide proves fatal when it is released into an enclosed area that has little to no ventilation. When you breathe in carbon monoxide it binds to the part in your red blood that is responsible for getting oxygen to your cells because CO will bind over oxygen less and less oxygen is carried to your cells which causes the cells to die causing the tissues in your body to die and organs to shut down causing death.
As scary as CO poising sounds, and is, it is easily prevented from harming you, your family and pets by taking certain precautions.
Install CO detectors and place them close to where you can hear the alarm if it goes off, preferably ones that have a battery back-up and replace the batteries every six months.
Get your heating system, water heater and any appliances that use gas, oil or coal services by a professional technician each year.
Get your chimney cleaned each year.
Never patch any vent pipe with anything other than the materials meant for patching vents.
Only use a gas range or oven for cooking and never for heating.
NEVER burn charcoal indoors.
Portable gas stoves should only be used outdoors.
Make sure to operate gasoline-powered tools, engines, generators, etc. in a well ventilated area and never use for […]
Carbon Monoxide #Silentkiller
Carbon Monoxide poisoning has recently gained notoriety lately, it seems like every day we are hearing of another tragedy involving and Carbon Monoxide. What is Carbon Monoxide? Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that when breathed in by humans and animal can cause serious injury and death. Carbon monoxide is found almost everywhere, from our cars and trucks, to generators, small engines, furnaces, appliances and grills and gas fireplaces caused by the incomplete burning of the fuels that they use. Wood and charcoal also produce carbon monoxide and should only be used in well vented areas.
There are many symptoms of CO (carbon monoxide) poisoning:
Shortness of breath
As the levels of CO poisoning increases the symptoms progress and worsen, such as:
Loss of muscle use and strength
Loss of conscience
Leading to death
Because CO poising can mimic flu symptoms it can be hard to initially diagnose CO poisoning exposing them to further poisoning and has been known to cause death. While others may not experience the initial symptoms of Co poisoning that they become so confused they are unable to seek help and die, which is why carbon monoxide has been branded the “Invisible Killer.”
Carbon Monoxide is very serious and isn’t anything that should be taken lightly, however, there are ways that you can keep your family and home safe from carbon monoxide and that is to buy and install a carbon monoxide detector in your home as well as practice safety when using things that produce carbon monoxide.
January 16, 2015
First Call Jewel has been South-East Idaho’s electrical service company for over 60 years. We take pride in our work and continue to provide all of our customers with fast and reliable service. In addition to doing panel upgrades, like the picture, we install whole house generators, re-wire homes, change electrical outlets, add a breaker, we can do it all. Electrical malfunctions account for more than 10% of fatal home fires, many of those fires due to untrained individuals doing complicated electrical repairs. Other causes of electrical malfunctions are caused by faulty wiring, improper grounding, aging wiring, dated electrical panels etc. Electrical repairs should always be left to the professionals who have been trained and received their license by completing the required hours learning about electrical repairs and the way electrical circuitry works. In the event you choose not to hire a professional for your electrical needs; here are some safety tips, from the ESFi, help keep you and your family safe.
Learn about your home electrical system.
Never try to do a repair that you know is beyond your skill level.
Always turn off the power to the circuit you are going to work on at the main panel.
Unplug appliances before working on them.
Never touch other pipes or outlets when performing your own electrical repair.
When in doubt, stop immediately and call a professional.
Recently one of our plumbers came across a water heater that had actually burned up the controls and wiring. This was caused by a loose connection where one of the power wires terminates on the high limit. It is important to make sure the screws that hold the wires in place are very snug to keep this from happening.
See corresponding pictures
It is important to have a good quality, functioning, carbon monoxide detector. This week we had an elderly customer who had us come out for her annual furnace tune-up. Her furnace was a 18 year old 90% efficient Carrier. It appeared to be working just fine but there were some signs of a potential carbon monoxide leak, that only an experienced technician would have noticed. Upon further investigation, it was in fact leaking and was putting low levels of C O inter her home. After we made her aware of the problem, she indicated she had been getting unusual headaches lately. Fortunately for her, we caught the problem before she got really sick. The problem was in the secondary heat exchanger, and was not worth repairing. She now has a new TRANE 95% 2 stage variable speed gas furnace that will help her home to be more comfortable, and more efficient.
Recently we were out to a home where the homeowners were very lucky. They had been using an expensive “super efficient” “very safe” heater. The receptacle where it plugged in had burned up, and had shot sparks out. Fortunately the homeowner happened to see it happen and got it shut off. Plug in heaters in and of themselves are relatively safe. What is not safe is the cord connection where it plugs in to the wall. Plug in portable electric heaters should only be used as a temporary heat source and only in an area where they can be observed. See the corresponding pictures.