If you have a gas powered clothes dryer in your home, regular maintenance on that appliance could mean a difference between life and death. Gas appliances cost less to operate, but they come with a number of responsibilities to make sure they are being safely used in your home.
As the dryer works its magic, drying your clothes, it is also burning gas fuel, and letting off carbon monoxide. In a normal dryer vent system this is released from your home through the ducts behind the dryer that also take the hot air out of your home. But in a clogged dryer vent, where it's harder for the air to escape, the levels of carbon monoxide may increase in your home. Too much carbon monoxide can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning which at its worst can lead to death.
Some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are:
Feeling faint and tired
Many people who experience these symptoms don't realize it until it's too late. They attribute their symptoms to some other reason. With carbon monoxide, you may not even smell the fuel leak as it takes over your home.
What if you are feeling the symptoms?
Once you have the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, even if you aren't sure that is what they are, you should get some fresh air and turn off the appliances. Walk outside for a little while and see if you feel better. If you do, you should open up all the windows and doors to open up your house for some time after the appliances are turned off.
It is likely other members of your family are feeling the same types of symptoms as you are. If your symptoms are severe, you should go to the hospital and report that you believe you may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
The best way to deal with carbon monoxide poisoning is to prevent it in the first place. Like the furnace, which most people have serviced regularly, a clothes dryer should also have periodic professional inspection, cleaning and maintenance. A professional will clean everything out, be sure there is proper air flow and let you know if there are any parts that may soon become problems, so you can catch them before they occur.
This article was written by Jim Buie owner of Dryer Vent Wizard, servicing Raleigh and Wake Counties in North Carolina. Http://www.dryerventwizard.com is the dryer vent expert, specializing in cleaning, repairing, altering and installing dryer duct systems. Jim also teaches each of his customers what they need to know about dryer vent maintenance and fire prevention.
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