The heat portion of a furnace and broiler.

The winter months bring with them cold days and even colder nights. Furnaces and heaters are starting up, fires are being lit, and the oven tends to always have something baking. Blankets pile on couches and warm beverages flow, conjuring images of cozy winter bliss. The winter months also bring with them a higher potential for carbon monoxide exposure and poisoning. Before you settle down this winter, call the professionals. Don’t take a chance with carbon monoxide. Get your home inspected by a CaitCo Drainworks professional today!

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas. It is produced when a fuel source is not completely burned. Improperly installed and poorly maintained appliances can also lead to carbon monoxide exposure. Other leading potential contributors of carbon monoxide in the home include:

  • Furnaces
  • Boilers
  • Water heaters 

Carbon monoxide exposure tends to be higher in the fall and winter months when homes start to use gas heaters and furnaces.

What happens when there is carbon monoxide exposure?

The consequences of carbon monoxide exposure can go from dire to deadly rapidly. When breathed in, carbon monoxide displaces oxygen in the bloodstream, depriving the heart, brain, and other vital organs of necessary oxygen. If CO levels become elevated in a space, symptoms of poisoning can begin to occur in one to two hours. In cases when carbon monoxide levels become severely elevated, loss of consciousness and death can take place in as little as five minutes.

Early signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure and poisoning include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness/vertigo 
  • Nausea
  • Feeling tired
  • Trouble breathing
  • Heart palpitations 
  • Confusion/disorientation 

The longer the exposure and the higher the levels of CO, the more severe the symptoms can become.

Signs and symptoms of severe carbon monoxide exposure and poisoning include:

  • Loss of coordination 
  • Memory loss
  • Vision loss
  • Seizures
  • Heart problems
  • Brain damage
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Death

What to do if you suspect carbon monoxide in your home

If you suspect carbon monoxide in your home, you need to:

  • Stop using and turn off all appliances
  • Open the doors and windows
  • Vacate the premise
  • Call 9-1-1 for help from a safe location

In the event of a carbon monoxide emergency, CaitCo Drainworks has trained professionals standing by 24 hours a day to help. In addition to our 24-hour emergency service, CaitCo Drainworks offers seasonal maintenance services for HVAC, furnaces, boilers, and radiant heating systems. As part of your seasonal maintenance service, CaitCo Drainworks will inspect your home for carbon monoxide. Routine maintenance of gas appliances and heating systems can catch and prevent critical equipment failure before it is too late. 

Don’t take a chance with your family’s health and safety this winter. Leave it to the professionals. Call CaitCo Drainworks today to take advantage of our seasonal heating maintenance services and carbon monoxide inspection. Then you can settle in and enjoy your winter the way you are supposed to, safe, warm, and cozy.