DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd.
Indoor Air Quality and Environmental Experts

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Carbon monoxideIf you’re put off by the idea that odourless, colourless gases can enter our homes and potentially kills us, you’re not alone. Naturally, it’s worrisome to think that we can be negatively affecting our health simply by breathing the air that is in our homes. Our recent blogs have covered the characteristics – or rather, the health risks – of two gases that belong in the “silent killer” category: carbon monoxide and radon.

The former, which is actually referred to as “the silent killer” is a gas that is often emitted from fuel burning appliances like furnaces, ranges and water heaters. According to Keith Pandolfi of ThisOldHouse.com, 170 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year. And while that may not seem like a large number, it’s one that can be significantly lowered by taking a few steps to avoid the gas altogether.

Here are four ways to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:

1. Proper ventilation. This simple technique is very often brought up as a chief way to improve indoor air quality. Without a regular trading of indoor air for outdoor air, dangerous pollutants can remain trapped in the home. Worse, they can become trapped in our lungs. To prevent this, Pandolfi reminds us to vent the exhausts of our furnaces, ranges and water heaters. And he makes clear how we can all do this properly.

“That means having the pipes angle up, not down, as these folks have done,” he directs us, “hot air rises, you know.” He goes on to advise us to check that the vents are free of cracks and gaps. That way, you can avoid the possibility of leaks. As you can imagine, a cracked vent will emit carbon monoxide into the home. And while you won’t be able to smell or see carbon monoxide, Lowes.com reveals a way that we can detect it.

2. Look for orange flames. For those of us who own gas stoves, an orange flame coming from the burner can be a sign that carbon monoxide is present. Gas stoves, as you may know, generally emit blue flames. The site goes on to warn that you should never use an oven or cooking range to heat your home. Of course, this would just be silly – to put it mildly. But you’d be surprised at how many people have tried it.

3. Install a carbon monoxide detector. Lowes.com recommends that you install detectors near the bedrooms in your home. For those who own two-story homes, you should have a detector on each floor. Furthermore, be sure to change the batteries in the CO detector at least twice a year. And after five years, it’s a pretty good idea to replace the detectors for brand new ones. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

4. Hire professionals to do an inspection. Speaking of being safe rather than sorry, there is no better way to eliminate the health risks associated with carbon monoxide than to have your property thoroughly inspected by experts. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take indoor air quality very seriously. And if you’ve been paying attention to our blogs on air quality, you’ll know exactly why you should as well.

We make it our mission to investigate the origin of your concern so that we can assist you with whatever is necessary to eliminate it. Our Air Quality Services seek to make your living space one that is free of air pollutants that can significantly damage your health. Carbon monoxide and radon are not easy to detect. But they will not escape us! For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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