May I Get You Some Carbon Monoxide?- There's nothing like a little carbon monoxide to give you a good night's sleep! Actually, it takes just a little bit and you'll be sleeping like a baby! Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless toxic gas produced by incomplete combustion in fuel-burning devices. Carbon monoxide in the home is no joke. It is a silent, invisible killer. Unintentional CO exposure accounts for an estimated 500 deaths in the United States each year.
I come across an abundance of carbon monoxide hazards while conducting home inspections here in southern California. The homeowners are usually not aware of these hazards, although they may be wondering why they've had an increase in headaches, nausea, dizziness, or confusion. They are suffering from symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning!
Here are some of the leading carbon monoxide hazards to look for in a home:
- Poorly maintained fuel-burning appliances located in the interior of a home
- Substandard installation of these appliances
- A heating system that has been modified in any way
- Portable fuel-burning heating units inside a home
- Fuel-burning appliances located in sleeping rooms
- Unsealed openings around the base of a fuel-burning furnace or it's platform
- Heating system air returns located within ten feet of a combustion source
- Separations in the flue assembly of a fuel-burning appliance inside a home
- A fireplace that does not draft properly
Installation of carbon monoxide detectors is now mandatory in homes containing fuel-burning appliances (including fireplaces) or an attached garage. They must be installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom(s), and on each floor. But don't rely on your CO detectors! Examine your home and if you see any of these conditions, consult a professional for evaluation so you and your family can truly sleep peacefully at night!
May I Get You Some Carbon Monoxide?- Steve Stenros is the owner of First Choice Inspections and serves San Diego, Orange, and Riverside counties in southern CA. He is a CREIA MCI inspector and can be reached for appointment at 888-335-3040. Clients receive a FREE lifetime appliance RecallChek with every standard home inspection.