Happy New Year everyone! As one of our company’s numerous New Year’s resolutions, we would like to begin the year with safety. Believe it or not, energy efficiency improvements may just be one of the secondary services we offer. Health and safety of course ranks #1! It is what we inspect over thousands of homes a year while working with our clients and those of our partnering utility companies and solar partners. And most of these clients do not even know we’re looking at these concerns while in their homes.
Did you know?
Accidental Carbon Monoxide poisoning killed 81 Louisiana residents in 2021. There were at least 14 deaths from CO poisoning following the aftermath of Hurricanes Ida and Laura. Over 400 people in the US die from accidental CO poisoning annually. Approximately 50,000 people visit the emergency room each year due to accidental CO poisoning. How is your CO doing this heating season?
For a better understanding of CO poisoning let’s begin with the symptoms in this illustration.
There can be so many misunderstandings concerning what CO is. Below is the skinny of many of the misunderstandings we’ve heard and conversations we’ve had with hundreds of our clients over the years.
CO is not CO2. To avoid lengthy molecular composition conversations and for the sake of time, we decided to keep it simple. We breathe out CO2 and can die from breathing in CO. Amazing how that one minuscule “O” can make such a difference in life. Literally.
CO has a weird “rotten egg” smell to it. No, it doesn’t. This would be the scent of natural gas. However, this is not totally accurate as natural gas has no odor to it either. However, gas companies add a harmless chemical called mercaptan to give it its distinctive “rotten egg” smell.
CO is produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuel burning like coal, oil, natural gas, and gasoline among others.
The most commonly known reason for CO poisoning in residential homes is faulty venting of gas water heaters and gas furnaces. But, there are many more reasons for CO poisoning as well.
Stove top burners! Don’t forget these. The flames should be all variations of blue. However, yellow-colored flames mean the burner is out of adjustment or the air inlet is restricted. It is emitting CO with poor combustion properties.
People who are sleeping can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms.
Drinking alcohol?!? Yep, same as above.
Louisiana to the rescue!!!
All homes sold or leased after 2023 will be required to have at least 1 life-long, operable, sealed-battery carbon monoxide detector, according to a new law passed this year.
Click Here to learn more
A Call To Action
What can detect and prevent CO poisoning? Simple, having an experienced professional test for proper combustion levels. Pressure imbalances that commonly occur from bathroom fans, range hoods, and running your HVAC system are one of the most common reasons for improper venting of carbon monoxide leaving excess amounts of this gas in your home through “spillage.”
We love energy efficiency. We’re dorks about it. We love leaving our clients with more comfortable homes than they were before we got there. But health and safety are always first!