With carbon monoxide poisoning cases on the rise, we at Blue Ridge Chimney Services have been asked a few common questions about what carbon monoxide is and what your fireplace and chimney have to do with it leaking into your home. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), at least 200 people die of carbon monoxide poisoning in their homes every year in this country, and, furthermore, approximately 10,000 reports of carbon monoxide-exposure injuries have been diagnosed annually. What is so dangerous about carbon monoxide is it is called “the silent killer” because the gas is odorless, colorless, and tasteless; therefore, you and your family could be breathing this toxic gas in without even knowing it. Blue Ridge Chimney Services wants to inform you more about carbon monoxide and keep you and your family safe by answering these common questions.
Why is carbon monoxide poisoning on the rise?
The focus on energy-efficiency in the heating systems of homes keeps the heated air sealed in your home, which saves you money; however, the flow of oxygen into your fireplace is also restricted. If your fire does not have a sufficient supply of oxygen, the fuel will not be burned completely, and carbon monoxide is produced and leaks into your house.
What else causes carbon monoxide leaks?
One of the by-products of combustion, carbon monoxide, in a properly-working chimney, should exit out of your fireplace through the chimney, without any lingering behind. Various chimney problems can be behind carbon monoxide leaking into your house. An obstruction of your chimney exit by an animal nest or a large buildup of creosote deposit could be blocking the by-products from fully exiting through your chimney. A cracked or deteriorated chimney flue liner also allows toxic gases like carbon monoxide to enter your home, since part of your chimney is vulnerable to the by-products of combustion because the liner is damaged. Blue Ridge Chimney Sweeps can easily remedy these issues with a professional chimney sweeping to remove blockages and flue liner repair or replacement.
What are the first physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Similar to symptoms of the common cold or the flu, headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and even depression are the first signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. If these symptoms become persistent, ask your family doctor for a blood test to detect carbon monoxide levels in your blood.
What are the health dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning?
If someone breathes in carbon monoxide for an extended period of time, the health effects can be severe and life-threatening. Permanent brain damage, along with damage to the heart, lungs, and other organs and tissues, is a real possibility, as is death.
What is the best way to prevent carbon monoxide from leaking into my home?
Recommended by the CSIA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Lung Association, and the National Fire Protection Association, an annual chimney sweeping and inspection from a CSIA-certified company like Blue Ridge Chimney Services can prevent carbon monoxide leaks into your home and keep you and your family safe.
If you have any more questions about carbon monoxide, contact Blue Ridge Chimney Services today. Our expert staff is happy to tell you more about this hazardous issue.