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The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Too much exposure to carbon monoxide is toxic

Too much exposure to carbon monoxide is toxic

Carbon monoxide leaks pose serious dangers to you and your loved ones’ health, and these dangers include death. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission claims over 200 Americans die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning from malfunctioning heating appliances and venting system issues. Additionally, over 10,000 carbon monoxide-related injuries are reported every year. Preventing these dangers is one of the main reason you should schedule an annual chimney sweeping and inspection from Aelite Chimney Specialties every year. We can find things that cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home, such as a cracked flue liner, a chimney blockage, and problems with the chimney and the connector pipe. Our certified technicians can also repair these issues to protect you against the dangers of carbon monoxide. We would like to tell you more about carbon monoxide poisoning and its health hazards.

What Carbon Monoxide Does to Your Body

Many of us know that too much carbon monoxide in the bloodstream is deadly; however, few understand that even a low-level exposure to this toxic gas can harm your body. Breathing in carbon monoxide is so dangerous because hemoglobin, a protein in your blood, will always latch on to carbon monoxide and ignore oxygen when given the choice between the two.This means your body replaces life-giving oxygen with poisonous carbon monoxide, and this causes the suffocation of cells, with the severity depending on the intensity and duration of the exposure to the toxic gas.

The Trouble with Diagnosing Low-Level Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

With symptoms such as headache, fatigue, dizziness, and nausea, low-level carbon monoxide poisoning is often mistaken as the flu or a common cold, and, unfortunately, it can take some time to make the correct diagnosis. Since low-level carbon monoxide poisoning can cause permanent brain and/or organ damage, diagnosing the problem can be crucial, Also, the longer it is misdiagnosed, the longer the exposure to carbon monoxide. The only way to determine the issue is due to carbon monoxide exposure is a blood test.

Helpful Tips to Distinguish Between Low-Level Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and the Flu or the Common Cold

If you are showing symptoms of carbon monoxide but were diagnosed with the flu or a cold, but two weeks later, you show no improvement, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) suggests three questions you should ask yourself about your symptoms:

Do I have a fever? If your answer is “yes,” you have the flu or a bad cold. Carbon monoxide poisoning will not elevate your temperature, so if your answer is “no,” you should ask your doctor to test the carbon monoxide levels in your blood.
Do my symptoms improve when I leave the house? If carbon monoxide is leaking into your home, you will feel badly as you are exposed to the toxic gas at home. If your symptoms lessen whenever you are away from your house, most likely you are suffering from low-level carbon monoxide poisoning. Again, ask your doctor to check your blood for carbon monoxide levels.
Are my pets also getting sick? Cats and dogs are not affected by the flu virus, so if your pets seem ill as well. there is a strong possibility carbon monoxide is leaking into your home.

Keep carbon monoxide out of your house. Contact Aelite Chimney Specialties to schedule your annual chimney cleaning and inspection to protect you from carbon monoxide leaks.

Maintain Good Chimney Draft

Avoid a Smoky Fireplace with a Proper Chimney Draft

There's a big difference between a GOOD chimney draft and a BAD one. Learn how to get the good kind and prevent issues like indoor air pollution, carbon monoxide poisoning, and a smoky fireplace, to name a few.

There’s a big difference between a GOOD chimney draft and a BAD one. Learn how to get the good kind and prevent issues like indoor air pollution, carbon monoxide poisoning, and a smoky fireplace, to name a few.

Have you ever been curious about the reason why, even if the fireplace is burning wood and keeping you warm in the middle of your living room, no toxin-filled smoke is lingering in the house? That’s the whole point of effective ventilation. Your chimney sucks the air uniformly from the fireplace and then lead it out of the house. This is the principle behind what we call chimney draft. It is important for you, as a homeowner, to know these things in order to help you see if there’s already something wrong going on inside your chimney.

The Cause for Decreased Draft in your Chimney

Chimney draft is essential for a fireplace and chimney system to properly function. It can either increase or decrease depending on the performance of your chimney. If there are any problems like blockages in the opening of the chimney then there is a decrease in the chimney draft. Blockages can refer to birds, spider webs, twigs and leaves getting stuck inside. This means that there’s not enough suction from the fireplace towards the flue to completely remove unwanted air. If the chimney draft is not going up and out, bigger problems will ultimately present themselves. To prevent these blockages from forming in your chimney, we suggest that you have a chimney cap installed.

Keep an Eye on the Flue Liner

The way to avoid getting your home filled with smoke is to make sure that the flue liner in your chimneys are in excellent condition. Good flue liners increase draft efficiency thus providing a smoke-free, secured home. If the problem is a worn out flue liner, then replacing the flue liner will definitely improve your chimney’s functionality.

Other Recommendations

This is the reason why we would always recommend annual chimney inspections along with chimney sweeping at least once a year and especially when the winter season starts, to make sure that everything inside your chimney is intact and ready to endure any kind of weather. Don’t ignore that gut feeling that something seems wrong. Smoke inside the home is the most obvious sign.

Aelite Chimney Specialists is Here to Help You!

We all want to make sure nothing bad happens to our property and that there are no threats to our safety. We are here to help you attain that assurance. Our company, Aelite Chimney Specialists employs CSIA certified professional sweeps to give you confidence in our judgement.

 

Are You Breathing Clean Air at Home?

You may think the air you breathe inside the house is clean, but it could be just as dirty as outdoor air. Be aware.

You may think the air you breathe inside the house is clean, but it could be just as dirty as outdoor air. Be aware.

The air you and your family breathe is one of the most important things in your home. When you hear the word pollution, you often think of the air outside that can be caused by cars and factories. However, the air inside of your home can be polluted by common sources such as mold and pollen, tobacco smoke, household products and different gases such as Carbon Monoxide. These are all almost completely preventable. Building structure is sometimes the blame for poor air quality so make sure that your building is well-ventilated. Also, one of the major producers of Carbon Monoxide in the home is your fireplace and chimney. With proper care they can be a nice addition to your home, but they can also be dangerous quickly. If you need any chimney assistance this season, contact Aelite Chimney to talk to an experienced professional.

CO Inside the House

To prevent Carbon Monoxide from staying in the home it must be able to exit the chimney. This cannot happen if there is a blockage, commonly caused by twigs and leaves or creosotes. Creosotes are particles released from burning wood that can build up in your chimney. You cannot usually tell that Carbon Monoxide is filling your air until it is too late as it is odorless and colorless. The gas is extremely toxic so if you suspect it is in the air around you, you should evacuate the area immediately and seek medical attention depending on symptoms. Mild symptoms include headache, dizziness, and nausea, while more extreme symptoms can include chest pains, impaired vision, and even fatality.
Now, homeowners can get CO alarms to install inside of their homes to alert them when levels begin to rise. You should install multiple alarms throughout your home on all levels and also connect them together so when one area is changing you can be alerted anywhere in the house. These should not be used as smoke alarms as they are looking for two different things. Remember that an alarm will only work properly if it is taken care of so make sure that they are cleaned, tested, and have the batteries replaced regularly.