Carbon monoxide (CO) is a byproduct from burning various fuels and can come from a variety of common, everyday home appliances. It’s a tasteless, odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas when inhaled that poses a very real threat to Omaha area residents.
The threat of CO poisoning is especially prevalent here in Omaha and throughout the state of Nebraska. It was reported on October 14, 2012, that four Bellevue residents were treated for CO poisoning at the Nebraska Medical Center. One of them was in critical condition.
Even more sobering is that Nebraska has the highest death rate from CO poisoning in the nation. “The biggest culprits,” according to Channel 6 News, “are faulty gas-burning appliances like a furnace, a vehicle running inside a closed garage or outside devices being used indoors like a generator. The best protection is to have a CO detector.”
CO poisoning also can be caused by fumes generated by water heaters, gas or wood burning fireplaces, space heaters, BBQ’s, electric generators, gas ranges and ovens, and electric ovens when self-cleaning.
How CO Enters Your Home
Normally the toxic gases from fuel combustion are expelled from the home, but processes called the “stack effect” and “backdraft” can trap them inside. The stack effect occurs when faulty appliances create a negative air pressure inside the home by ventilating too much air out of the home. The building will then “backdraft” to compensate for the air pressure imbalance by sucking air—including toxic gases—back inside.
This is usually caused by loose vent pipes, cracked metal, or corrosion. Your home could also have internal equipment damage, malfunctioning components, or hidden blockage or damage in the vent or chimney.
Because it’s indiscernible by our senses, carbon monoxide can sneak up on you. Worse, home center variety CO detectors only trigger once already-high levels of the gas have been released, often too late to avoid known symptoms. These include dizziness, nausea, headache, and shortness of breath.
How to Prevent Serious Side Effects
First and foremost, contact Action Air and ask about our low-level CO detectors…far superior and more effective than home center brands.
These reliably protect you and family from both high and low level exposure to CO. The standard retail store devices trigger only at dangerously high levels over 70 parts per million (ppm). Low-level detectors, by contrast, trigger when there’s as little 10 ppm in your air. With a low-level detector, you’ll be alerted to a problem long before health hazards can occur.
Prevention IS the Cure
In addition to installing low-level CO Detectors, Burton AC, Heating, Plumbing & Electrical also can help safeguard your family with our multi-point heating system tune-up and inspection. This includes checking for possible causes of CO leaks and, if found, providing the necessary remedies.
Contact us today for service anywhere in Omaha, Council Bluffs, and throughout the region.
Click here for answers to your questions or to schedule service now