Within just moments of breathing in carbon monoxide, you will begin to experience a variety of different side effects ranging from nausea to dizziness. Long-term exposure is even more devastating, and it can result in serious medical complications including brain damage, memory loss, and birth defects. Luckily, most families can easily reduce their risk of carbon monoxide exposure by taking a few preventative steps. Check out our top 3 tips to minimize the risk of a carbon monoxide leak in your home.
Clean Your Chimney Flue
Many homeowners make the mistake of never having their chimneys cleaned, and that can result in a dangerous pocket of carbon monoxide whenever the fireplace is used. There is no rule regarding how often a chimney should be cleaned, but most experts suggest having it inspected at least once a year before the weather turns cold. You can use chimney sweep logs once every few weeks to clear away some of the sediment that has clung to the walls as well. Cleaning your flue will also reduce your risk of a devastating chimney fire that could cause a tremendous amount of damage in a short period of time.
Take Your Tools Outside
Any tools that use a power source such as gas or oil should only be used outside. Older tools are some of the worst offenders because of the relatively lax regulations in the past. If you store or use any tools in your garage, then you need to invest in a powerful ventilation system to remove toxic fumes. Some of the leading ventilation systems now come with their own carbon monoxide monitors. When the system detects carbon monoxide or any other dangerous toxins, it will automatically sound an alarm and turn the vents on.
Leave Installations to the Professionals
Improperly installing any appliances that use gas is extremely dangerous, and it might even void your home insurance policy. That is why homeowners should always hire local contractors to install their water heaters, furnaces, ovens, and stoves. When you are searching for a contractor, you must always make sure that they are fully bonded and insured. If there is an accident or you notice any signs of a carbon monoxide leak, then you can rest assured that it will be taken care of quickly and with no extra fees.
In addition to these few tips, you must also have working carbon monoxide detectors placed throughout your home. You or a family member should test these detectors at least once every month and replace the batteries every year. Having working detectors in your home will help you catch gas leaks as quickly as possible and prevent deadly accidents.
Guest Author Bio: Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer based out of Boston. HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, to install water heaters, furnaces, ovens, and stoves.