How to Detect the “Silent Killer” in Your Home

  Tasteless, odorless, colorless, invisible… what other ways should we describe carbon monoxide? Many call it the “silent killer.” In fact, accidental CO poisoning is found to be the cause of death of over 400 Americans each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said that carbon monoxide poisoning was responsible for approximately 20,000 emergency room appointments and 4,000 hospitalizations. Signs of CO Poisoning Most often, it is difficult to detect carbon monoxide poisoning, and the signs are often overlooked. Improperly ventilated heating systems and appliances in an enclosed space allow the gas to accumulate to highly dangerous levels. Symptoms of CO poisoning may include the following:
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Dull headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Blurred vision
Exposure to small concentrations of CO may already lead to serious health outcomes. This is why it is important to have a CO detector installed at home. How Does CO Detector Work? Carbon monoxide detector works the same as a smoke detector. It sends alerts whenever CO is detected in your home. Most CO detectors available today have built-in sensors, voice alert and intermittent beeping that alarms real-time. Other models feature Wi-Fi compatibility, detection sensitivity, and many more. Where Should You Place CO Detectors? There are various areas in the house where you should position the detectors. First, they must be located near sleeping areas. Second, place them within 5 to 20 feet away from fireplaces, water heaters, furnaces, and other heating systems and appliances for optimum detection. Do not ever place them near exterior doors or windows as it may prevent the CO detector from activating. How to Prevent Exposure
  1. Be observant and vigilant.
  2. The moment the CO alarm goes off, quickly evacuate the area and check for symptoms or signs of poisoning. Symptoms may immediately show off after a person is poisoned. Call the nearest hospital for help.
  3. Check your carbon monoxide detectors routinely and diligently. Make sure it is working properly at all times. Always keep a battery on hand in case of power interruptions or failures.
  4. Have your chimney, furnace and fireplaces inspected annually or as needed. Avoid running your grills, stoves, or cars in tightly closed spaces.
Carbon monoxide is a certified silent killer so, don’t let it build up in your home. Take safety measures as soon as today! Call us at BV Air Conditioning & Heating for more prevention tips on carbon monoxide poisoning.

What Makes Your Indoor Air Intolerable During Winter

  With closed doors and windows, your house creates a seal during winter that keeps the temperature indoors. However, do you know what’s in the air in winter that can make everyone at home uncomfortable? That is exactly what you will learn by reading this article. Sources of Indoor Air Pollutants in Your Home Without you knowing it, your home might be the breeding ground of large types of air pollutants. Even with sealed windows and doors, you are still susceptible to toxins and contaminants because of the things you keep at home. Below are different sources of indoor air pollutants that you should be aware of.
  • Pesticides
Lead and other chemical elements found in pesticides increase the risk of illnesses and other IAQ issues. Put away any pesticides inside your home and store them in the garage or anywhere outside.
  • Combustion Gases
Kerosene, gas, and oil are only a few of the many types of combustion gases that you might come into contact with. Your gas stove, wood fireplace, and heating system are common sources of combustion gases. They need to be cleaned and maintained routinely to control the emission of gases.
  • Pets
Do you have pets at home? Winter is the season when they spend most of their time indoors; therefore, increasing allergen concentration. If possible, keep your pets clean and groomed always to lessen allergen buildup.
  • Furnishings & Building Materials
Carpentry, insulation materials and other furnishing and building supplies may harbor mold and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Household Cleaning Products
Using bleaches, detergents and other cleaning products intensify the possibility of air contamination.
  • Home Improvement Activities
Painting, varnishing, and other home improvement activities also cause your indoor air to become unbearable during winter. Consequences of Poor Indoor Air Quality If not given immediate action, these air pollutants will continue to circulate in your home thus, leading to various health issues. The consequences of poor IAQ may range from minor to serious health problems, such as headache, dizziness, eye and skin irritation, asthma, and more. With regular exposure to these indoor air contaminants, your respiratory and immune system might also be compromised. Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality To improve your IAQ and prevent these health issues, you need to take some steps that will regulate toxins and airborne contaminants.
  • Know their sources.
  • Control the sources.
  • Improve your home’s ventilation.
  • Use air purifiers or cleaners.
  • Contact your trusted HVAC contractor for help.
Do you have any concerns with your indoor air quality? Call our IAQ specialists at BV Air Conditioning & Heating for professional and effective solutions.