When taking steps to keep your home warm and comfortable, make sure you also ensure your family's safety. Common household appliances that emit heat, when not properly maintained, can cause serious damage to not only your home, but to the health of your family.
Poorly vented or leaking gas or kerosene space heaters, chimneys, furnaces, water heaters, wood and gas stoves, fireplaces and generators can all cause harmful carbon monoxide gas that pollutes the air inside your home. What's more, carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that is toxic to your health and undetectable by your natural senses. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), its effects range based on the concentration of the gas at exposure, but can include fatigue, chest pain, impaired vision, dizziness, reduced brain function, nausea, typical flu-like symptoms and can even be fatal.
To keep your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning and ensure healthy indoor air, use the following tips:
• Install carbon monoxide detectors on every level in your home. Ensure proper functionality regularly.
• Make sure the flue is open when fireplaces are in use.
• Purchase vented space heaters, and use only the specified fuel.
• Use heating equipment that has been approved by a testing laboratory.
• Have your home's central heating system inspected regularly-preferably by a certified HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) technician-such as a North American Technician Excellence (NATE)-certified technician.
A NATE-certified technician will be able to identify the potential problems in your home, check ventilation and ensure proper sizing of equipment, which can help to prevent carbon monoxide from entering your home. They will also be able to recommend new, more efficient home comfort equipment that can help improve the indoor air quality of your home while consuming less energy-saving you money on heating bills.
An energy-efficient York Affinity modulating gas furnace, for example, is the highest-rated gas furnace in the industry that, by operating on longer run times, reduces electrical and energy consumption.
For more on how to safely heat your home, visit the NATE Web site at www.hvacradvice.com.
To keep your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning, have your home's heating system inspected regularly.