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Carbon Monoxide Basics: What You Should Know

Written on: February 8, 2021

carbon monoxide qa new yorkIf you have an appliance that burns fuel for energy – whether it is a water heater, furnace, boiler, fireplace, or cooking range – it emits at least some carbon monoxide (CO) as it runs.

If properly vented with functioning equipment, these emissions are harmless – but if CO accumulates in your home, it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning – a dangerous and possibly deadly threat.

Carbon Monoxide: Important Questions Answered

Here’s what you need to know about carbon monoxide, its dangers, and how to prevent them.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas produced by burning any fuel, including heating oil, gasoline, coal, wood, charcoal, kerosene, propane, or natural gas.

What causes a build-up of CO?

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.

How can I tell if I have a CO build-up in my home?

By N.Y. State law, you must have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home. The best way to know if you have a build-up of carbon monoxide is to make sure these detectors are properly placed and working correctly. Your heating equipment will also have built-in fail-safes to warn you of a CO problem, so be sure to have it properly maintained. In oil-fired equipment, a build-up of soot and smoke emissions are both warning signs of a CO issues – contact us immediately for service if you see either of these problems.

What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?

Symptoms of CO poisoning worsen as exposure to the gas increases. Mild symptoms include 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,

What should I do if my CO alarm sounds?

Always assume your CO alarm is operating correctly! If it sounds,

How do I avoid problems with CO?

At Downey Energy, your safety is always our priority! If you have any questions about carbon monoxide safety, or believe that any of your equipment requires expert heating repair in the Hudson Valley, contact us today.