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Preventing Carbon Monoxide In Your Home

There are a lot of things to worry about as a homeowner… that’s why we are here to help you stay educated on the important topics! We want to make it easy to keep your home protected and safer to live in all year long, which is why we’d like to focus on carbon monoxide and how to avoid exposure to it. Learn more about this hazardous gas below, then review our tips for properly avoiding it.

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is known for it’s undetectable nature and harmful medical side effects. It has no color and no odor, which makes it nearly impossible to notice within your home. This is a major reason why this particular gas is so scary! Unfortunately, it can cause some serious illnesses to occur and could even be fatal if not addressed right away. Take all of the necessary precautions to ensure your home stays carbon monoxide free, no matter what.

How Can I Avoid It?

Luckily, there are things you can do to ensure your loved ones don’t become victims of carbon monoxide poisoning. First off, have carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout the residence. This a surefire way to know whether or not carbon monoxide has found its way into your home. Be sure to regularly test these devices and change the batteries twice a year to ensure they are always working properly.

Next, have a certified technician inspect your appliances at least once per year. This is the best way to prevent bigger issues from occurring down the line, and these professionals can let you know of any potential leaks or airflow issues that could bring about exposure to harmful toxins.

And remember… never light camp stoves, grills, or similar items inside of your home, and never use a fireplace or stove that isn’t hooked up to a proper ventilation system. Always have a professional install any new appliance in your home to ensure no potentially harmful problems occur. Also, never let your vehicle run while parked in your garage, as these fumes can lead to serious illness or death.

We Can Help You Out

Whether you need help with inspections, installations, repairs, or other regular maintenance, the CSIA certified staff at Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney is here to help you out. Call us today, so that we can make your home safer for years to come!

If you are aware of carbon monoxide in your home, exit the premises at once and call 911. Proper authorities can then address the issue, while you and loved ones are safely away from danger. If you suspect anyone has symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as fatigue, dizziness, nausea, or lightheadedness, let medical personnel know right away.

By Jake Johnson on October 17th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

While most homeowners know how to safely operate their fireplaces, stoves, and other heating appliances, many are not aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning or how to protect their family from it. Although it is infrequently talked about in the news, carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for as many as 400 fatalities each year. It also causes thousands more to become sick, some even resulting in hospitalization.

CO Dectector - Evergreen CO - Mountain Man ChimneyThankfully, carbon monoxide poisoning can be easily prevented by taking certain precautions. By knowing the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and taking the steps to prevent it, homeowners can protect their families and safely enjoy their fuel burning appliances all winter long.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and poisonous gas. Because it is virtually impossible to detect without special devices, it is often called the “silent killer.”

What causes carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a naturally occurring byproduct of combustion reactions. This means that it is created by every fuel source, including coal, gasoline, kerosene, oil, propane, and wood. Because it is created by every fire, switching fuel sources to minimize the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is unlikely to make a significant impact.

Along with being created by almost any fuel source, carbon monoxide gas comes from a wide range of heating appliances. It is typically associated with fireplaces, stoves, grills, furnaces, space heaters, and water heaters, and is even created by vehicles. However, when properly vented these fuel burning appliances pose little to no risk to homeowners and their families.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

When present in small amounts, carbon monoxide poisoning causes flu-like symptoms. Symptoms include headache, nausea, and a feeling of sleepiness. If exposure continues, these symptoms will continue to worsen. Long term exposure to carbon monoxide can cause dizziness, impaired coordination and vision, and shortness of breath. In high concentrations, it can lead to coma or death.

If you suspect you may be suffering from the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, move everyone in the home immediately to a fresh air location. This can be outdoors or next to an open window or door. Before returning to the home, call local authorities or the Poison Control hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

How to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

Most of the ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning are common sense safety measures that families already do. The most important step homeowners can take to protect themselves and their families is to install carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of their homes, especially in areas near fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, or other fuel burning appliances. These monitors should be regularly tested and should be replaced every five to seven years.

Homeowners can also prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by regularly servicing and maintaining their heating appliances. Venting and ductwork should be inspected for any damage or blockages that could cause carbon monoxide to back up into the home. Likewise, grills or emergency generators should never be used indoors or in confined spaces as this can cause the gas to accumulate. Finally, running cars should never be left in a garage – even when the door is open – as the carbon monoxide can quickly fill the space and affect the vehicle’s air supply.

By performing regular maintenance and taking common sense precautions, most appliances pose no threat of causing carbon monoxide poisoning. To have your heating appliances, flues, or vents inspected, contact Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney today!

By Jake Johnson on November 29th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Carbon Monoxide Crash Course

What exactly is carbon monoxide?

As defined by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, carbon monoxide—also known as (CO)—is a deadly, colorless, odorless, tasteless, poisonous gas; these qualities have earned it the nickname “The Silent Killer.” It is mainly emitted by the partial burning of a number of fuel resources; these include propane, wood, coal, oil, kerosene, and natural gases. Most products out in the market and equipment we use on a day to day basis also produce CO.

Why should homeowners know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Your chimney and heating appliance are designed to be long-lasting and safe when properly maintained. For the safety of your home and family, make regular chimney system maintenance a priority!

Your chimney and heating appliance are designed to be long-lasting and safe when properly maintained. For the safety of your home and family, make regular chimney system maintenance a priority!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), learning the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and the steps you can take to minimize your risk of exposure is also crucial to keeping you and your loved ones safe. At moderate CO levels, you and your family can get severe headaches, become dizzy or disoriented, mentally confused, nauseated, or faint. It’s possible to die if these levels persist for an extended period of time. Low levels of CO can cause shortness of breath, mild nausea and headaches, and may have longer-term effects on overall health.

Because many of these symptoms are similar to those of more common ailments like the flu and food poisoning, many don’t even think of CO poisoning. This is the first mistake. If these symptoms only appear when you’re in the house and then get better when you leave home, CO poisoning could very likely be the culprit. Getting fresh air as soon as any of these symptoms surface is key.

What are some preventive measures one may take to remove carbon monoxide from the equation?

  1. Proper skills, knowledge, and tools are required when operating fuel-burning equipment. Check the owner’s manual when performing minor adjustments or servicing fuel-burning machinery.
  2. Portable fuel-burning camping equipment should never be used indoors or in an enclosed space unless it is specifically designed for such use.
  3. Recognize the need to have yearly inspection and maintenance of your heating systems to prevent the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Having this kind of knowledge relating to what carbon monoxide really is and what it can do to you and your entire family is key; it’s best to be proactive and take action now rather than sit back and wait until something happens to react. If preventive measures are to be taken (the first of which should be to secure the annual maintenance of your chimney or fireplace), then so be it.

Most of the time, a home’s heating system is often overlooked due to the lack of information on its importance to homeowners. Whether it be mild or severe CO poisoning, it pays to be vigilant. Keep two things in mind:

  1. There are no dumb questions.
  2. Failure to ask a question you think is dumb could cost you your life.

There’s no time to waste! Contact Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney, Inc now. We’ll be glad to answer any and all questions you may have. Pick up that phone and schedule an appointment today!

Chimney Safety Saves You Money!

The primary reason that Mountain-area homeowners have their chimneys swept each year is safety – none of us want to put our homes at increased risk as the result of a hostile chimney fire.  Of course, it’s also important to remember that it saves you money to keep your hearth appliances well maintained and operating at maximum performance and efficiency!

If you don't have a chimney cap installed, it is imperative that you act now to divert water from your chimney. Over the long-run, water rots your chimney from the inside; costing considerably more money.

If you don’t have a chimney cap installed, it is imperative that you act now to divert water from your chimney. Over the long-run, water rots your chimney from the inside; costing considerably more money.

Here are some fundamental ways to stay safe and save money at home this Spring:

1.  If you don’t have a chimney cap, get one.  Without a cap, rain and snow enter at the top of the chimney – not too much differently than having a hole in the top of your house.  Moisture in the flue not only damages the interior liner (either eroding the mortar joints or causing rust on the steel components) but it washes some of the combustible soot and creosote down the side of the flue.  Now that it’s warming up again, critters like a quiet place to have a litter away from predators.  All of these conditions are going to cost you some serious money to get fixed, but simply having a properly sized cap will prevent this from happening.

2.  If you have a chimney cap, make sure it’s not getting plugged.  Modern chimney caps have a wire screen to act as a spark-arrestor.  This is a valuable part of the chimney system, but also the first place that gets plugged with creosote.  Check for these two signs; if you’re having difficulty getting a fire started when it used to be easy, it’s likely that your chimney cap is partially plugged.  If the cap is blocking the airflow at the top of the chimney, the draft in the flue will be reduced.  Restricted airflow means lower flue temperatures and increased creosote buildup – and it means poorer efficiency.  A poorly operating hearth appliance means extra money spent on fuel and extra emissions entering the atmosphere.

3.  Don’t forget your dryer vent.  Much like their hearth appliance brethren, dryer vents rely on an unplugged venting system for good airflow.  A common symptom of a dryer vent that needs to be serviced is clothes that take extra cycles to get completely dry – and that means spending extra money for each load of clothes.  Obviously it’s costing you extra money if you have to run your dryer longer to dry the same clothes.  A simple mistake many of our customers make is to assume that their dryer vent will get serviced when they have a new dryer installed.  In fact, it’s rare for an appliance installation crew to remove the lint and debris from anywhere other than inside the room containing the dryer.

4.  Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly gas created by the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons – including cord wood, natural gas, pellet fuel and propane.  Medical research has shown that long term exposure to levels of CO once thought to be ‘safe’ can cause serious health problems including memory loss and lung damage.  The best way to prevent CO production is to have all heating units regularly serviced as part of an annual system of inspection and evaluation.  The best way to detect CO after its production is with a CO Detector.

To receive a Free Copy of the CSIA Bulletin: The Facts About Chimney Fires: Causes and Cures and/or a chimney cap brochure, or for more information about heating with wood, gas or pellet products or for service on all makes and models, call us today at Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney – (303) 679-1601. Semper Fi!