The Deadly Impact of Carbon Monoxide

It’s that time of year: People light their fireplaces, heat their homes with stoves and kick their furnaces into full gear. With heavier use of combustion appliances, as well as closed-up windows and doors, something else becomes common: carbon monoxide poisoning. When carbon monoxide finds its way into homes, it can have serious, and sometimes deadly, consequences.

Impacts of carbon monoxide

The problem with carbon monoxide is that it fools the body while depriving it of oxygen. When you breathe in carbon monoxide, the carbon monoxide attaches to your blood instead of oxygen. At all levels of exposure, carbon monoxide can cause ill effects, including:

  • Fatigue. Healthy people exposed to low levels of carbon monoxide will feel tired and run down, no matter how much sleep they get.
  • Chest pains. People with weak cardiovascular systems may experience chest pains when exposed to low levels of carbon monoxide.
  • Reduced brain function. People experiencing moderate carbon monoxide exposure might find their brains foggy and have difficulty focusing. As carbon monoxide exposure increases, people might become confused and disoriented, or even become dizzy.
  • Impaired vision. Exposure to carbon monoxide at high levels or prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can cause blurred or otherwise impaired vision.
  • Flu-like symptoms. People who are exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide can feel nauseated, achy, and suffer from headaches.

Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning in your home

At any level, carbon monoxide poses a danger to your home. That’s why you need to be sure you’re doing all you can to protect yourself and your family from a buildup of carbon monoxide poisoning. Some important steps to take to keep your home and family safe include:

Having all vented appliances cleaned and inspected at least once per year. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of combustion, and all combustion appliances will let off carbon dioxide. Having your fireplace, chimney, heating stove, furnace and dryer vent cleaned and inspected at least once per year ensures that vents are cleared and properly exhausting carbon monoxide from your home, while having these appliances inspected ensures that they aren’t malfunctioning and emitting carbon monoxide into your home.

  • Never run a car in a closed garage.
  • Don’t use camp stoves, grills, lanterns or other outdoor combustion items indoors.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors on every floor in your home, and near sleeping areas, and check detectors regularly to make sure they are in good working order.

Let Your Chimney Sweep help keep your home safe!

Keep your family safe from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, and let Your Chimney Sweep help! We can clean, service and inspect your combustion appliances and vents, including fireplaces, heating stoves, furnace flues and dryer vents. Call Your Chimney Sweep today to schedule your services and lower your home’s carbon monoxide risk this winter.