Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is highly toxic. It is mainly releasing from combustion appliances. You will not be able to see, taste or even smell this silent killer in your home but the toxic fumes of carbon monoxide gas can kill even before you can detect its presence. You cannot determine the air quality of your home or whether carbon monoxide is present in the air but it can affect you and your children largely. It is therefore recommended that you invest some time and money in carbon monoxide testing. You should hire a certified technician who can properly check carbon monoxide exposure in your home.
The effects of this deadly gas may, however, vary from one person to another depending on age, length of exposure, overall health condition and the concentration of the gas. However, that does not take away the importance of such testing.
Sources of it
Carbon monoxide gas can build up from different sources that include:
• Unvented gas and kerosene space heaters
• Leaking furnaces and chimneys
• Back-drafting from wood stoves, furnaces, fireplaces and gas water heaters
• Gas Stoves
• Generators or any other gasoline powered equipment
• Automobile exhaust from garages, roads and parking areas attached
• Blocked, disconnected, leaking and improperly sized flue and even
• Tobacco smoke
Carbon monoxide can affect your health depending on its concentration level found in carbon monoxide testing.
At low concentrations: it may cause fatigue and chest pain in people suffering from heart disease. If it is found at the moderate level it will cause impaired vision, angina and reduced brain function. At a high level, you will suffer from impaired coordination, dizziness, headaches, confusion, nausea and flu-like symptoms. Co can be fatal at the very high concentration as it forms carboxyhemoglobin in the blood to inhibit oxygen intake.
Reasons for CO Testing
As Carbon Monoxide can cause poisonings it is required for carbon monoxide testing by a certified person for the following reasons:
• To diagnose the potential exposure of CO even in small amounts that may cause serious health issues such testing is required.
• The alarm systems cannot detect CO and will not go off until you are exposed to 70 parts per million of this gas for over three-and-a-half hours. However, international limits for unsafe CO levels and that of OSHA and the World Health Organization are between at 15 to 35 ppm.
• If new equipment is installed, it must be tested in an exposed condition as venting systems, duct systems, combustion air, additional appliances, building pressure, and others can affect its operation. Moreover, vibration and shock during transportation of these systems from factories may cause the components to shift and move. The only way to know if the equipment is operating well and safely is to test it.
Proper carbon monoxide testing will measure the level of concentration and not guess it. The professional will follow the protocol during testing using a CO monitor. Holes may be drilled in the flue and ductworks along with other places to insert the probe for testing levels of CO.
Once the testing is complete, you will be provided with the test documentation and the results will be reviewed with you.
Installing a CO Alarm
Even if you conduct annual carbon monoxide testing, it is important that you install a CO testing detector in your home. This will save your home burn down Apart from that there are several other benefits.
These alarms will alert you immediately when CO reaches a lethal level. This will help you to take necessary measures on time and prevent falling unconscious and even ultimately death.
This early detection will ensure your safety. When smoke is detected early, you will be able to call the fire department early to respond quickly. This will save your life, home, and belongings.
In most of the times, if you have a carbon monoxide testing detector installed in your home, you can get discounts in your home insurance premium and save money.