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Can I Get Carbon Monoxide Poisoning From My Air Conditioner?

October 14, 2021 | Blog

First things first, if you suspect you have a carbon monoxide leak in your home, call 911 and your utility company. If you’re in a safe location, read on!

Carbon monoxide leaks are something all homeowners fear. It is a potentially lethal gas that is known as a “silent killer” for how easily it can go undetected. Knowing the signs of CO poisoning is essential for anyone with gas-fueled devices in their home.

At My Guy Heating & Air, we offer maintenance services guaranteed to help decrease the odds of a CO leak in your home. Read on to learn more about carbon monoxide poisoning, and what else you can do to prevent it. 

What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that each year carbon monoxide poisoning sends 50,000 people to the hospital. On average, at least 430 die from it per year. Don’t let you or your family become another number in these statistics. 

Because it is a colorless, odorless gas, it can be difficult to tell when you’re at risk of poisoning. Some signs you’ve contracted CO poisoning include:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Chest pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss

Some of these symptoms can also look like the flu, but it’s the memory loss that’s most portrayed in popular culture. Stories of people writing themselves notes only to later forget they wrote them are widespread on social media sites. 

If you suspect the same might be happening to you, go to the hospital immediately. CO poisoning can result in long-lasting brain and lung damage if left untreated and could prove deadly. 

Do Air Conditioners Produce Carbon Monoxide?

The short answer is no, air conditioners are unable to produce carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide can only be emitted from fuel-burning devices. AC units run on electricity, so there’s no possible way for them to produce carbon monoxide. 

This doesn’t mean your home is completely safe from carbon monoxide leaks. While your AC may not be a hazard, there are many other devices in your home that can pose a risk. 

How Can Carbon Monoxide Enter Your Home?

Carbon monoxide at home is more common than you may think. Some devices that can emit this dangerous gas include:

  • Gas ovens and stoves
  • Wood and gas-burning fireplaces
  • Dryers
  • Water heaters
  • Furnaces

Essentially, if the appliance burns wood, charcoal or fuel, there’s a chance it could leak carbon monoxide. Even an attached garage can pose a risk of CO poisoning, as cars are a common source of this gas, as well. 

How Do You Prevent A Carbon Monoxide Leak?

Don’t let the statistics frighten you. Despite how dangerous carbon monoxide can be if it enters your home, there are many ways to prevent it from ever happening. 

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Like smoke detectors, CO detectors are essential to home safety. There should be one installed on each floor of your home. Installing these detectors in bedrooms is a great way to alert members of the house of the presence of carbon monoxide. The majority of CO poisoning occurs when people are sleeping, so this can quickly save anyone at risk.

These detectors function similarly to smoke detectors. When carbon monoxide is detected, it will produce a shrill beeping sound. These devices should have their batteries changed every six months to ensure they buy when needed. You can buy them at most hardware and department stores.

Avoid Using Certain Appliances Indoors

Homeowners with attached garages run the risk of carbon monoxide entering their homes whenever they leave their car running inside for too long. Even leaving the garage door open doesn’t entirely prevent this risk. 

The same applies to other gas-burning appliances. It doesn’t matter how many windows and doors you have open. If you use any gasoline-powered device inside, there’s a chance CO could enter your home. 

It’s recommended that you use these appliances at least 20 feet away from your home. This applies to things such as:

  • Cars 
  • Barbecues
  • Motorcycles 

Routine Maintenance

Maintenance on your gas-burning indoor appliances can help catch problems before they evolve. One of these problems is the emission of carbon monoxide. You should have a professional inspect these appliances at least twice a year. 

Even a small problem can lead to dangerous outcomes. It’s best to have a trained expert come and ensure your furnace won’t pose a danger to you and your family. 

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

The HVAC specialists at My Guy Heating & Air can help improve your indoor air quality. Carbon monoxide is dangerous, but it isn’t the only thing you need to worry about, especially if you have severe allergies.

Our air quality test kits and specially designed systems are made to improve the quality of air. We guarantee that we can find the right fit for your home to help eliminate dangerous pollutants and gases. Contact us today to see how you can protect your home!

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