“Carbon monoxide is known as a silent killer because it is colorless and odorless,” says Michael Petri, owner of Petri Plumbing & Heating. The Petri Plumbing & Heating team recommends residents follow this short checklist to ensure they’re protected against carbon monoxide:
Change the batteries in CO detectors. CO detector batteries should be changed every sixth months. Picking two holidays can serve as helpful reminders for when to swap batteries, such as every New Year’s Day and Fourth of July.
Use fossil-fuel-burning appliances in well-ventilated spaces. Gas stoves, ovens, space heaters and generators can all produce carbon monoxide. In areas with ventilation and proper airflow, this isn’t a problem. However, if these appliances are used in enclosed spaces that don’t have ample air movement, CO can build up and become trapped in the air you and your family breathe.
Keep any vents, flues and chimneys clean. Ventilation is one of the most important methods to combat CO poisoning. If a home’s airflow portals are clogged with debris, it can allow CO to linger in the home.
Schedule seasonal boiler or furnace tune-ups. The best way to solve a problem is to prevent it. Getting boiler or furnace tune-ups in the fall and spring will not only make sure the heat or air won’t fail when you need it, it can also alert a trained service expert to potential exhaust and carbon monoxide problems. Proof of regular tune-ups are required by many manufacturers’ warranties, so annual maintenance can also help save on potential repairs in addition to reducing safety hazards.
“A lot of it comes down to ventilation and maintenance,” Petri says. “You want to keep areas containing fuel-burning appliances well-ventilated, but it’s also important to make sure those appliances are in good condition. A boiler may be doing its job, but a crack can cause a CO leak that can create a dangerous situation.”
Published with permission from RISMedia.
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