Carbon Monoxide and Home Heating Part 2 of 3

If you haven't read part 1, I really encourage you to do so in order to understand what Carbon Monoxide is and what the symptoms are. The second part of this informative piece is in regards to how to prevent production dangerous levels of carbon monoxide by proper appliance maintenance, installation and use. "Maintenance:

  • A qualified service technician should check your home's central and room heating appliances (including water heaters and dryers) annually. The technician should look a the electrical and mechanical components of appliances, such as thermostat controls & automatic safety devices.

  • Chimneys and flues should be checked for blockages, corrosion, and loose connections

  • Individual appliances should be serviced regularly. Kerosene and gas space heaters (vented and unvented) should be cleaned and inspected to insure proper operation.

  • CPSC recommends finding a reputable service company in the phone book or asking your utility company to suggest a qualified service technician. " We also suggest that you check and angie's list because they run background checks and you can see specific reviews from past customers.


  • Proper installation is critical to the safe operation of combustion appliances. All new appliances have installation instructions that should be followed exactly. Local building codes should be followed as well.

  • Vented appliances should be vented properly, according to manufacturer's instructions.

  • Adequate combustion air should be provided to assure complete combustion.

  • All combustion appliances should be installed by professionals." Once again we highly suggest that you go to and angie's list to find an installer to insure that you and your family are getting the quality installation you deserve.

"Appliance Use: Follow manufacturer's directions for safe operation.

  • Make sure the room where an unvented gas or kerosene space heater is used is well ventilated; doors leading to another room should be open to insure proper ventilation.

Never use an unvented combustion heater overnight or in a room where you are sleeping. Are there signs that might indicate improper appliance operation? Yes, these are:

  • Decreasing hot water supply

  • Furnace unable to heat house or runs constantly

  • Sooting, especially, on appliances

  • Unfamiliar or burning odor

  • Increased condensation inside windows

Are there visible signs that might indicate a CO problem? Yes, these are:

  • Improper connections on vents and chimneys

  • Visible rust or stains on vents and chimneys

  • An appliance that makes unusual sounds or emits an unusual smell

  • An appliance that keeps shutting off (Many new appliances have safety components attached that prevent operation if an unsafe condition exists. If an appliance stops operating, it may be because a safety device is preventing a dangerous condition. Therefore, don't try to operate an appliance that keeps shutting off; call a service professional instead.

Are there ways to prevent CO poisoning? Yes, these are:

  • Never use a range or oven to heat the living area of the home

  • Never use charcoal grill or hibachi in the home

  • Never keep a car running in an attached garage"

Remember that there are many things around your home that can cause CO2 poisoning but there are many things you can do to prevent them. It is very important to keep all your gas appliances checked and maintained annually to ensure a safe environment for you and your family.

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