If you have home comfort equipment that burns fuel to produce energy – whether it’s a furnace, boiler, water heater, cooking range, or any other device – it emits at least some carbon monoxide (CO) as it runs.
With properly functioning equipment in an adequately vented space, these emissions are negligible, but if CO accumulates in your home, it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning – a dangerous and possibly deadly threat.
Here’s what you need to know about carbon monoxide, its dangers, and how to prevent them.
Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas produced by burning any fuel, including heating oil, gasoline, coal, wood, charcoal, kerosene, propane, or natural gas.
A buildup of CO typically occurs due to improper ventilation or broken equipment. Some causes of CO buildup include operating unvented appliances for too long, a broken or improperly maintained heating system, a backdraft near the heating appliance, or a blocked flue or vent.
Although both oil and gas combustion produce carbon monoxide as exhaust, they differ in how they display when a build-up has begun: in a gas system, there is little visible display if too much carbon monoxide has accumulated, which is why it is critical to install CO detectors at every level of your home (see below). If oil-burning equipment is not functioning properly, it will produce smoke and soot – a natural CO warning to people in your home. If you see soot on your oil-burning equipment, contact us immediately for service.
Symptoms of CO poisoning vary depending on the amount of exposure to the gas. Mild symptoms include flu-like headaches, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness; moderate symptoms include severe headaches, drowsiness, confusion, and disorientation; extreme case symptoms include unconsciousness, convulsions, heart failure, and in rare cases death.
If you are experiencing CO poisoning symptoms,
Always assume your CO alarm is operating correctly! If it sounds,
At Murray-Heutz Oil and Propane, your safety is always our priority! If you have any questions about carbon monoxide safety, or believe that any of your appliances require expert heating equipment repair in Androscoggin County, ME, contact us today.