Carbon monoxide is an odorless,
colorless and tasteless gas that can cause illness and even death. This
poisonous gas is absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream where it
inhibits the bloods capacity to transport oxygen throughout the body. It may
build up in parts of your home such as in your kitchen, garage, basement or
fireplace area. Improperly adjusted burners or poorly ventilated flues for any
fuel burning appliance will accumulate carbon monoxide in the home.
Rusting or water streaking on vent/chimney
Loose or missing furnace panel
Loose or disconnected vent/chimney connections
Debris or soot falling from chimney, fireplace or appliance
Loose masonry on chimney
inside of windows
Internal appliance damage or malfunctioning components
Improper burner adjustment
Hidden blockage or damage in chimneys
Make sure appliances are installed according to manufacturers instructions and local building codes. Most appliances should be installed by professionals.
Have the heating system (including chimneys and vents) inspected and serviced annually.
Follow manufacturers directions for safe operation.
Examine vents and chimneys regularly for improper connections, visible rust or stains.
Notice problems that could indicate improper appliance operation:
Decreasing hot water supply
Furnace unable to heat house or runs constantly
Sooting, especially on appliances
Unfamiliar or burning odor
Never burn charcoal indoors or in a garage.
Never service appliances without proper knowledge, skills and tools.
Never use the gas range or oven for heating.
Never leave a car running in a garage.
Never operate unvented gas-burning appliances in a closed room.
Shortness of breath
Courtesy of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Lung Association.