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What Causes Carbon Monoxide to Enter Air in Homes?

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We have blogged a few times in the past about carbon monoxide in your home because it’s an issue that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Every year, hundreds of people die from accidental CO poisoning or become ill from its effects, even here in the St. Louis area.

In the past, we’ve focused on furnace problems that lead to carbon monoxide leaks, but the truth is that there are many other things in your home that can lead to excess levels of CO in your air. That’s why we wanted to dive a little deeper into what causes carbon monoxide leaks in homes and what you need to look out for to prevent them.

What things around your home produce carbon monoxide?

Besides gas and oil furnaces, there are a number of other things around your home that produce carbon monoxide. These include any water heaters, dryers, oven ranges, space heaters, fireplaces or stoves that are fueled by gas or wood. Another huge source of carbon monoxide is idle cars in your garage, which can quickly contaminate not just your garage but also the air in your living spaces.

Why do fuel-burning appliances emit carbon monoxide?

The truth is, you can’t avoid having carbon monoxide in your air. All of the things mentioned above, even when running properly, emit carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is only damaging to your health when it gets too high, which can happen when any of your appliances are damaged, inefficient or improperly vented.

What safety measures can you take to protect your family from carbon monoxide in your home?

First and foremost, you need to make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home.

When it comes to any fuel-burning appliances, have them inspected every year before the heating season in order to make sure they are working properly. Also make sure that all of the ventilation parts of all of your appliances are well-connected, undamaged and not obstructed in any way.

Finally, avoid letting any cars run idle in your garage. If you must for some reason have an idle running car, be sure to keep the garage door open. Remember that the longer a car stays running in your garage, the more CO that is being emitted into your air.

If you have any questions about carbon monoxide or the air quality of your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.

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