How to Detect Carbon Monoxide in Your Home

Posted: March 2, 2016

Carbon monoxide alarm

Posted: March 2, 2016
Posted by: David O’Connell, President Wilson Oil & Propane

One of the most serious problems you can encounter is a build-up of carbon monoxide (CO) in your home. Because this is an invisible and odorless gas, it is even more dangerous.

You won’t know it is even in your home until symptoms strike. Many CO symptoms mimic the flu—fatigue, dizziness, nausea—most people initially don’t recognize the danger of the situation.

It is important to have carbon monoxide detectors in your home—especially in your bedrooms. If the detector sounds an alarm, ventilate the home with fresh air right away. If you feel dizzy or drowsy, leave the house immediately.

Identifying carbon monoxide leaks can be complex sometimes because there are various causes, including:

  • operating unvented appliances for long periods of time
  • a heating system that’s out of adjustment or damaged (Note: If you have an oil heating system and carbon monoxide is being emitted, there will be visible warning signs coming from the system, like smoke or soot; you may also smell an oil odor.)
  • backdrafts caused by pressure imbalances near the heating appliance
  • leaving a vehicle idling in an attached garage
  • running a gasoline-powered generator in a basement or attached garage
  • a blocked flue or vent

All of these situations could set off a CO detector, but conditions can change by the time our technician arrives, which can make proper diagnosis difficult.

You can help us by sharing as much information as possible so the source of the problem can be identified correctly.

Please contact us if you have any question or concerns about keeping your home safe from carbon monoxide.