The thought of the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning happening in your home is very frightening; however, neglecting regular chimney maintenance can result in carbon monoxide leaking into your home without you even knowing it. Odorless, tasteless, and invisible, this toxic gas can become trapped within your house. If you do not have a carbon monoxide alarm installed to alert you of this danger, you and your family could get very sick or even die from continuously inhaling this poisonous gas. Another way to be safe from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning is to schedule an annual chimney sweeping and inspection from Weststar Chimney Sweeps. This step can stop this gas from entering your home in the first place. We would like to inform you about these dangers so that you can best protect yourself and your family.
How Does Carbon Monoxide Affect My Body?
When you breathe in carbon monoxide, the poisonous gas enters your bloodstream and how your blood treats this gas is the true danger. Hemoglobin, a protein in your blood, will always choose to pick up and carry the carbon monoxide and to ignore oxygen. Of course, we need oxygen flowing through our blood to keep our cells from suffocating. The amount of damage caused depends on how long and intense you are exposed to inhaling carbon monoxide, which makes detecting and preventing its presence so crucial.
How Common Are Deaths and Illnesses Due to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), at least 200 people in the U.S. are killed every year from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by venting problems in their heating appliance systems. Approximately 10,000 cases of sickness related to carbon monoxide are recorded in hospitals each year as well.
What are the Side-Effects and Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Side-effects of low-level exposure can include permanent brain and other organ damage. Unfortunately, the symptoms of low-level poisoning are very similar to those of the common cold: headache, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. This can cause many misdiagnoses of carbon monoxide poisoning, which prolongs the exposure. If these symptoms do not go away, be persistent with your doctor and ask for a blood test to check for levels of this toxic gas. The sooner high levels are found, the sooner life-saving treatment can begin. High-level exposure to carbon monoxide can cause death.
How Does This Gas Come Into My House?
Poor ventilation is the primary cause of carbon monoxide coming into your home; however, the factors behind the venting problems include a damaged or missing chimney flue liner, large deposits of creosote, debris clogging the passageway, and nesting from birds or other animals blocking the flue.
How Can I Prevent Carbon Monoxide from Entering My Home?
All of the factors behind chimney venting problems can be corrected with an annual chimney sweeping and inspection from Weststar Chimney Sweeps. With cases of carbon monoxide-related health issues on the rise, our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps are extra careful to clean out any blockages, check flue liners for cracks and gaps, and replace a deteriorated chimney liner to protect you from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you have not scheduled your annual chimney sweeping and inspection this year, contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps today. Our staff will arrange a chimney sweep visit to your home as soon as possible to prevent carbon monoxide from entering your house.