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Carbon Monoxide and Your Gas Heater: What Should You Check?

Much as we avoid thinking about it, carbon monoxide kills. Turning on your heater tends to be a process you don’t really think about. Most people aren’t concerned with what their propane heater is doing or the fact that improper maintenance can lead to the potential of deadly carbon monoxide leaks. And while it may not get particularly cold around here in Sugar Land or Katy most of the year, having a heater around is still key to living comfortably during the rare winter months.

Making sure your gas heater is safe for your home is key, but it’s not always easy to know when your heater is actually working just as it should. Part of this is because carbon monoxide is odorless and difficult to detect. But luckily, ensuring that your heater is well maintained is simple. That’s what the professionals are for.

Here’s what you need to look out for when it comes to keeping your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning and what you can do to keep your gas heater working for years to come.

The Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Identifying Potential Threats

Carbon monoxide poisoning is subtle. In fact, it can sometimes be days or weeks before symptoms become noticeable enough for people to take action and by that time, you may have suffered permanent brain or heart damage.

But the symptoms do exist. You may develop a headache or feel fatigued. Some people experience dizziness or persistent flu-like symptoms. But because most people only heat their homes during the winter, it’s easy to mistake these symptoms for seasonal allergies, the flu, or even seasonal depression.

If you happen to own a propane heater or other gas based appliances, consider purchasing a carbon monoxide detector even if you feel you’re not currently at risk of developing carbon monoxide poisoning.

Some carbon monoxide detectors are handheld units. Others are ceiling installations, akin to a fire alarm. Your Sugar Land or Katy HVAC contractor can help provide you with recommendations for carbon monoxide detectors you can install in your home based on your needs.

Proper Maintenance is Key

Maintaining your gas heater is key when it comes to preventing carbon monoxide poisoning. And even making a few simple household changes can help prevent leaks from developing while you wait to get in touch with a local Katy, TX HVAC contractor.

Remember, if you suspect or detect that you have a carbon monoxide leak, leave your home immediately and find somewhere to stay while you get in touch with a contractor. Even if the leak is not as severe as you might initially think, there’s certainly no harm in being better safe than sorry.

Proper installation is key. Always make sure licensed professionals install or maintain your heater. A badly installed heater can be disastrous. Schedule routine maintenance with your local Sugar Land/Katy HVAC contractor. We recommend every six months just to make sure everything is ship-shape. If your unit has filters, it is recommended that you schedule them for regular cleaning so that you can ensure that there is no hazardous build-up on them. The need for maintenance is no less for filter-free units, just be sure to schedule maintenance to ensure there are no leaks in the unit.

Ensure that you open your windows and allow for airflow to circulate throughout your home. This will allow for carbon build-up to be released outside instead of remaining stagnant in your home. Regular cleaning of the space around your heater will help prevent potential clogging and other issues that can heighten the risk of leaks. This might not seem like the best idea during chillier days in Sugar Land/Katy so you can compromise by opening your windows every other hour or so. Just make sure you let some fresh air come into your home when possible.

Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning, serious as it is, is surprisingly simple. Regular maintenance will help prevent them from occurring. Detection is key as well. If you have any questions about your heater or detecting carbon monoxide leaks, get in touch with your local HVAC contractor today and schedule a tune-up or a consultation as needed.

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