Whether I’m wearing my hat as a Brentwood, Tn. home inspector or Springfield, Tn, or somewhere in the middle like Nashville, Tn., there is one common factor most homes have, potential for Carbon Monoxide exposure. Installing a Carbon Monoxide detector can protect you. WIth the cold air comes the need for heat and the use of our furnaces. How many of you have Carbon Monoxide detectors in your home? “Did you know that Carbon Monoxide fatally poisons 400 Americans annually? CO poisoning also leads to more than 20,000 visits to the emergency room and more than 4000 people are hospitalized” according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are many sources of CO in the home. Some common sources of CO are the furnace, water heater, fire place, or even the garage. Proper maintenance of your fuel burning appliances will limit the potential for CO build up in the home. An annual inspection of your fuel burning appliances is recommended to help reduce the possibility of improper combustion and venting, they should include inspecting the flue or exhaust pipes with this annual inspection. The inspection of these flue pipes should not be limited to the areas visible at the furnace. All accessible sections of the flue should be inspected. Also if your appliances vent into a masonry chimney its recommended to have that chimney cleaned and inspected annually. Since CO is impossible to see, taste, or smell it can be lethal before you are aware of its presence. This is why CO detectors are extremely important to have in your home. Home inspectors can help determine if these detectors are in your home when conducting your inspection.
Carbon Monoxide detectors can be found at your local hardware stores. There are many types of varying prices. I urge everyone with an attached garage and or gas burning appliances in their home to change your batteries in your CO detectors. If you don’t have CO detectors in your home, go buy them today. I just bought one last weekend for fifteen dollars. They come in all types from your basic CO detector, to one which detects CO and natural gas, and many other types. Below are some links to carbon monoxide detector manufacturers websites.
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Here is a video from a recent inspection in the Nashville area, of an active CO leak in the crawl space of a home.