Learn How to Reduce Carbon Monoxide in Your Home

Learn How to Reduce Carbon Monoxide in Your Home

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, furnaces or boilers. CO exists as a by-product of incomplete combustion. Additionally, CO builds up indoors and potentially poison people that breathe it. In particular, CO risks become very high during during storms or electricity power outages. Homeowners face increasing risk because they use their standby generators in the garage, basement or home.

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning include: 

  • headaches.
  • dizziness.
  • weakness.
  • upset stomach.
  • vomiting.
  • chest pain.
  • confusion.

Frequently, people describe CO symptoms as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out or kill you. People who are sleeping can die from CO poisoning before they experience any symptoms.

As with many indoor air pollutants, pay attention to the time and place possible CO related symptoms occur. For example, do your symptoms fade or go away when you are away from home? If so, identify possible CO sources in your home. Additionally, while everyone remains at risk for CO poisoning, infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease or breathing problems possess the highest risk.

Finally, if your home has CO detectors going off or occupants are experiencing some of the symptoms of CO poisoning, exit your home right away (or, at minimum, ventilate your home by opening windows). Additionally, call your natural gas utility provider, emergency response unit or experienced contractor in your area immediately to investigate the problem.

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