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Carbon Monoxide Detection: A Professional Approach

Unlike smoke from a fire, carbon monoxide is invisible, odorless and tasteless. The only safe possible way for a homeowner to identify the presence of carbon monoxide is with carbon monoxide detection devices installed in strategic areas of the home.

Without a carbon monoxide detection device, the dangerous gas can accumulate in trace amounts inside a home, and cause health ailments such as headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and confusion. Moreover, carbon monoxide poisoning mimics other ailments, so it’s difficult to diagnose.

A professional approach to detection

Carbon monoxide is produced from the combustion process of fuel-burning appliances, such as gas stoves, dryers, water heaters and furnaces, and also attached garages and wood- or coal-burning fireplaces and stoves. These are the places where your HVAC professional checks for the poisonous gas:

  • Furnace components are inspected for efficient ignition, combustion and heating processes. The flame of a natural-gas furnace should be a sharp blue hue. A yellow flame indicates inefficient combustion of the gas, which means more carbon monoxide is being produced and possibly released into the home.
  • Your HVAC professional measures carbon monoxide concentration levels in flue gases, and checks all connections to flue pipes and venting for cracks, corrosion and debris. The combustion chamber and heat exchanger are inspected for cracks, corrosion and metal fatigue.
  • Venting systems of all fuel-burning appliances are inspected to ensure all carbon monoxide is vented to the outside of the home.
  • Chimneys and venting systems are inspected for blockages, which may include animal nests and debris accumulation. Slight blockages can cause carbon monoxide to vent back inside the home.
  • The duct system and air-supply outlets are inspected for leaks and balanced airflow. Poor duct design with leaks and disconnected duct joints can create backdrafting from air-pressure differences, and pull carbon monoxide into the home or into the duct system to be circulated through the living spaces.

The only way to ensure your home is safe from carbon monoxide leaks is with a professional inspection and installing carbon monoxide detection devices in the right locations. Contact the HVAC professionals at HVAC Unlimited to schedule an evaluation in your northern Virginia home.

 

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