The Relationship Between HVAC and Carbon Monoxide

Every year, news stories surface of families losing their lives due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is deadly – it’s a silent killer. 

It’s important to keep it out of your home, but are you doing enough?

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a deadly, colorless, odorless gas produced by the incomplete burning process of certain fuels, including coal, wood, charcoal, oil, propane, kerosene, and natural gas. While many homeowners install carbon monoxide detectors inside their homes to thwart this deadly killer, it won’t sound until levels are dangerously high, meaning it can already impact your health. 

How HVAC is connected to carbon monoxide 

All across the Front Range, most homeowners use natural gas HVAC equipment. If your heating and cooling equipment is more than a few years old, it’s wearing down and has the potential to lose some of its efficiency. If it malfunctions in any way, it could mean gas does not vent properly. If the heat exchanger is in poor repair, it could also release carbon monoxide into the air supply. 

The Relationship Between HVAC and Carbon Monoxide

If you’ve been exposed to carbon monoxide, it can cause a variety of symptoms including: 

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Visual changes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Drowsiness
  • Memory problems

If you suspect a carbon monoxide problem, leave your home immediately and contact the authorities for further action. 

Steps to take with your HVAC

Carbon monoxide problems can creep up on a poorly maintained system. That’s just one of the reasons why it’s important to have your HVAC system inspected annually. 

A check-up before the winter season, before you turn on your furnace for the first time, ensures the equipment is operating well, and the ventilation system moves air properly. This inspection will check the entire system for potential problems. It includes the ductwork, to ensure clogs and blockages aren’t stopping the air supply and increasing the problems. 

When was the last time you had your HVAC cleaned and inspected? It’s not too late in the season to ensure your heating and cooling system is in top working order. 

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