Natural gas is the primary fuel used for home heating across the country. It’s cheap, plentiful, and puts out a good amount of heat relative to the amount burned. However, it’s not a perfect fuel. There are a number of drawbacks to using natural gas, and one of the biggest is carbon monoxide. If you are using a natural gas appliance to heat your home, read on for more information about that dangers of carbon monoxide.
What Is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas, which is produced by burning natural gas. It is odorless, tasteless, and completely invisible. There are only two ways to detect carbon monoxide. The first is to use a carbon monoxide detector. The second is to start feeling the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide prevents your body from absorbing oxygen, by binding to the oxygen receptors in your blood. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, migraines, loss of consciousness, and eventually death. If you suddenly start to feel dizzy, or otherwise impaired, you should get out of the house and call emergency services right away.
Protecting Against Carbon Monoxide
There are a number of methods you can use to protect yourself against carbon monoxide poisoning. First, you should consider installing carbon monoxide detectors around your home. These function much like smoke detectors, and will serve as an early warning system even if you’re asleep and can’t feel the initial effects of carbon monoxide exposure.
The second thing you can do is make sure that your gas heating system gets annual maintenance. This will allow your HVAC technician to closely examine your heating system, and make sure that it is properly disposing of its carbon monoxide outside of the home.