Most of us have several appliances in our home that burn fuel for energy – a gas furnace or oil-fired boiler, for example, or a propane water heater or gas cooktop.
These fuel-burning appliances – or anything that burns fuel, really – produce at least some amount of carbon monoxide (CO) as they run.
With adequate maintenance and ventilation, the CO emitted by your appliances will be harmless. But if carbon monoxide is allowed to accumulate in your home, it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning – a dangerous and possibly deadly threat to your family.
Here are some carbon monoxide facts and safety basics for your New Jersey home.
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 poor 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.
Although burning both heating oil and gas produce carbon monoxide, they differ in their signs of a build-up: in a gas system, there is little visible display if too much carbon monoxide has accumulated, which is why it is vital to install CO detectors throughout your NJ home (see below). If oil-burning equipment is not functioning properly, it will produce smoke and soot – a warning to people in your home. If you see soot on your oil-burning equipment, contact us immediately for service.
Symptoms of CO poisoning increase in severity with exposure. 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 working properly, and that a threat exists! If it sounds,
At Dixon Energy, 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 Essex, Passaic and Bergen County, NJ, contact us today.