Like every gas-burning appliance in your home, your furnace produces a certain amount of carbon monoxide (CO). Although a properly operating furnace poses no threat to the health of you or your family, problems such as a cracked heat exchanger can result in excess levels of carbon monoxide in your air. If the CO levels are too high, they can even be life-threatening. In fact, a family in O’Fallon, MO, recently had a very close call with a carbon monoxide leak from a dirty furnace.
What makes carbon monoxide especially dangerous is that it is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. As a result, it’s very important to understand the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning so that you can take the necessary safety measures in the unfortunate event that you or someone in your home becomes ill from a CO leak.
These are the top 7 symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning that you should be aware of. In general, the greater the severity of the symptoms, the larger the concentration of CO could be in your air.
- Headaches: Headaches and other flu like symptoms are one of the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, and can occur from even small levels of CO
- Confusion: This includes loss of judgment and a lack of clarity in your thinking
- Dizziness: Another symptom that will make you feel out-of-sorts in your head
- Nausea: Brought on from the CO as well as the combination of the other symptoms
- Vomiting: Especially with no other possible cause and the presence of more of these symptoms
- Chest pain: A sign that you are inhaling too much carbon monoxide
- Loss of consciousness: This occurs in very severe levels of carbon monoxide in which the affects could be life-threatening
Other ways to detect carbon monoxide in your air
Obviously, it’s best not to wait until you’re experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning to know if the CO levels in your home are too high. It’s important to install home carbon monoxide detectors in all of the necessary places so that you and your family can know about CO leaks as soon as they occur. A certified technician can also identify potential risks of CO leaks during annual preventive maintenance checks on your furnace.
If you have any question about the carbon monoxide levels in your air, or would like to have an air quality test done on your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.What is a Whole House Humidifier and How Does it Work? » « High efficiency furnaces: What You Need to Know before Investing in One