It’s become all but second nature for folks throughout Raleigh, NC and Chesapeake, VA to combat the perils of winter by reaching for a thermostat, flipping a switch, and turning the heat on. We rarely ever pay any attention to the safety of our heating systems, but this oversight could have disastrous outcomes.

Fact: Roughly 200 people in the U.S. are killed each year as a result from carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by problems with the venting of toxic gases produced by their heating systems (based on stats compiled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission). Other agencies, in fact, believe that number to be significantly higher.

In addition to these deaths, around 10,000 carbon-monoxide-related injuries are diagnosed each year. This number is alarming, considering that many cases of prolonged low-level carbon monoxide poisoning go undetected (until permanent damage occurs), as the symptoms mimic common winter ailments (headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue).

Keep in mind: too much carbon monoxide in your blood will kill you. Here’s why carbon monoxide poisoning seems to be on the rise in North Carolina and Virginia:

  • Improved home designs – Today’s houses are far more air-tight than ever before. This is a good thing, as it saves homeowners on energy costs. Consequently, there’s less fresh air coming into the home, and not as many chances for polluted air to filter out.
  • Greater efficiency with your heating systems – Manufacturers have designed new, high-tech heating appliances that are good for the environment and are far more energy efficient. However, these new breeds of appliances – when vented into existing chimney flues – often don’t perform at optimum level, and can allow toxic gases to more easily enter home living spaces.

HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOUR HOME AND FAMILY FROM CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING?

One of the most effective ways to protect your home and family from dangerous levels of carbon monoxide is to install a detector in your home. These detectors are extremely effective and will warn you if your air quality poses a risk to your health.

However, while every home should have a carbon monoxide detector installed, wouldn’t it give you greater peace of mind to know your heating system is performing optimally, and thus won’t pose a risk to your air quality?

That’s why it’s worth having your heating system inspected regularly by a heating specialist. We recommend that you have your heating system checked out at least once a year, during the “off season” (so for heaters, this would be in late spring or summer). This allows your heating technician the time to truly examine the system (from top to bottom) and address any issues that may negatively impact your home come wintertime.

Here at Comfort First of Raleigh, NC and Chesapeake, VA, not only do we offer comprehensive heat system inspections and maintenance, but we also have the tools, equipment and inventory to offer long-term solutions for any systems that may pose risk to your home and family.

Whether it’s a minor repair or an entire heating replacement, we’ll be sure you know exactly what needs to get done to guarantee safe indoor air all winter long.

Contact us today to learn more about our special carbon-monoxide inspections that we offer throughout NC and VA.