Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that can cause serious health problems if undetected. Carbon monoxide is harmful because it can rapidly accumulate in the blood, depleting the ability of blood to carry oxygen.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be similar to flu. You may suffer from headaches, nausea, general lethargy, dizziness, or flu-like symptoms that appear to get better when you are away from the area.
Carbon monoxide is a by-product of the burning of fossil fuels including natural gas, oil, propane, and wood. In your home, a fireplace or a furnace can be sources of carbon monoxide, but if installed properly and maintained regularly, they will produce very little as a by-product. Carbon monoxide becomes an issue if your venting becomes blocked or if your heating equipment is damaged. In the case of furnaces, a defective heat exchanger can be a source of carbon monoxide. The danger arises if carbon monoxide leaks out of a defective heat exchanger and mixes with the air that is generated by the furnace and pushed into your vents throughout your home.
The most important action you can take to detect carbon monoxide is ensuring you have carbon monoxide detectors inside your home. It is recommended to have one in your basement near heating equipment and on the main and/or second level of your home.
Here are some additional tips:
Note: These tips are suggested as general practices. However, actual results may vary.