Whether you heat your home with oil, natural gas, propane, coal or wood, your heating system can produce carbon monoxide (CO) if it is not working properly, or if it is inadequately vented. CO is also produced from internal combustion devices such as cars and small gasoline engines. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and tasteless, but very toxic. Signs indicating the presence of carbon monoxide in the home include stuffy, stale or smelly air, and very high humidity or soot coming from a fireplace or heating system.
What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often confused with those of the flu, and the highest incidence of poisoning occurs during the flu season.
Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, unclear thinking, shortness of breath, weakness, vision problems and loss of muscle control. High concentrations of carbon monoxide can lead to unconsciousness, brain damage or death. However, a victim may not experience ANY of these symptoms, or only one or a few symptoms. You should suspect the presence of carbon monoxide if symptoms tend to disappear when you leave your home.
What should you do if you suspect the presence of Carbon Monoxide in your home?