How to Protect Your Family from Carbon Monoxide

November 04, 2015

Service Experts Heating and Air Conditioning surveyed 1,000 homeowners in the U.S. and Canada on their knowledge of carbon monoxide (CO). According to The Centers for Disease Control, carbon monoxide poisoning is a primary cause of unintentional poisoning deaths – causing about 15,000 emergency room visits and about 500 deaths every year in the United States1. There are alarming gaps in what homeowners do and don’t know about remaining safe.

Carbon Monoxide Infographic Thumbnail

Many common household appliances release carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that could build to unsafe levels in your home when fuel-burning devices are not properly vented, operated or maintained. Breathing in CO may cause carbon monoxide poisoning which attacks the nervous system, heart and could be fatal. It’s critical to have your home inspected for carbon monoxide regularly to help ensure safe air quality.

Common sources of CO in homes include certain:

  • Furnaces
  • Stoves
  • Space heaters
  • Fireplaces
  • Water heaters
  • Clothes dryers

What do you know about CO?

Our survey results show the surprising lack of information homeowners have about the dangers of carbon monoxide:

  • 66% don’t know if they would know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning (headache, nausea, dizziness, or confusion).
  • 94% of homeowners know that the furnace can discharge deadly carbon monoxide gas, but more than half (54%) don’t get an annual furnace tune-up, a simple step that can help ensure correct furnace operation and venting.
  • 54% don’t know the best place in the home to install a carbon monoxide detector (the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends a detector outside of each separate sleeping area).
  • More than half of homeowners (54%) don’t know that the clothes dryer may be a source of carbon monoxide; 25% don’t know that that fireplace also may be a source. Other likely sources include gas water heaters, gas ranges, charcoal grills, gas space heaters and wood burning stoves.
  • Over one third of homeowners (34%) don’t have or can’t be sure if they have a carbon monoxide detector in their home; 41% say they never change their carbon monoxide detector, or they aren’t sure how often it is changed.

Determine your home’s CO risk

With a routine home comfort analysis, Mountainwest Service Experts in Salt Lake City is happy to help keep your family safe this winter. Visit ServiceExperts.com/CO-Safety, call or use our online scheduler to set up an analysis of CO and other dangerous indoor air pollutant levels.

1http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5650a1.htm