If you have oil-fired heating equipment in your Long Island home, it emits at least some carbon monoxide (CO) as it runs; if your equipment is working correctly, and your home is properly vented, that carbon monoxide will never pose a problem.
However, if carbon monoxide is allowed to accumulate in your home, it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning – a dangerous and possibly deadly threat.
Carbon Monoxide Basics
Here’s what you need to know about CO, including its dangers, and how to prevent them.
- Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas produced by burning any fuel, including heating oil, gasoline, coal, wood, charcoal, kerosene, propane, or natural gas.
- A buildup of carbon monoxide typically occurs due to improper ventilation or faulty equipment. Some common causes of a dangerous CO buildup include operating unvented appliances improperly or for too long, poor DIY equipment repairs, a backdraft near the heating appliance, or a blocked exhaust flue or vent.
- Although carbon monoxide problems are possible in both oil- and gas-fired systems, the two fuels differ in their warning signs: in a gas system, there is little visible display if too much carbon monoxide has accumulated. If oil-burning equipment is not functioning properly, it will usually produce smoke and soot. If you see soot on your oil-fired equipment, contact us immediately for service.
- Symptoms of CO poisoning vary depending on the amount of exposure to the gas. Mild symptoms include flu-like headaches, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness; moderate symptoms include severe headaches, drowsiness, confusion, and disorientation; extreme case symptoms include unconsciousness, convulsions, heart failure, and in rare cases death. If you are experiencing CO poisoning symptoms,
- Get fresh air immediately. Open windows and doors, turn off fuel-burning appliances, and leave the house.
- Call your fire department or 911 and report your symptoms to your doctor.
- Service all your fuel-burning appliances before turning them back on.
If Your CO Alarm Sounds
Always assume your CO alarm is operating correctly! If it sounds,
- Leave your home immediately
- Call your fire department or 911
- DO NOT re-enter the premises until responders have given you permission
- If the source of the CO is determined to be a malfunctioning appliance, DO NOT use that appliance until a licensed professional repairs the equipment
5 Keys To Avoiding CO Problems
- Maintain fuel-burning appliances every year
- Repair or replace poorly functioning appliances immediately
- Install CO detectors throughout your home, following the manufacturer’s instructions for placement, testing, and maintenance.
- Monitor all exhaust vents, especially after snowfall; if snow blogs an exhaust vent, dangerous gases could accumulate in your home.
- Study the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning, and teach your family what to do if they experience them.
At Burt’s Reliable, your safety is always our priority! If you have any questions about carbon monoxide safety, or believe that any of your appliances require expert heating equipment repair in Long Island’s North Fork or East End, contact us today.