Today’s homes are more efficient than ever. They’re sealed almost airtight because homeowners know how to winterize. We often seal up all of the windows, doors, and other areas where fresh outdoor air can enter in effort to heat our home. What most people don’t realize is that while creating that airtight home, we’re also preventing fresh air from entering and promoting an atmosphere for carbon monoxide buildup.

The Silent Killer

Are you aware that there’s a chance that you’re inviting a potential silent killer into your home every time you light a fire in the fireplace or wood stove? Every year more than 10,000 carbon monoxide related injuries are reported and more than 200 people die because of problems with the venting system in their home. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Depression

Many of these symptoms mimic other illnesses we all face during the winter months. We get colds that cause fatigue, earaches, dizziness, and headaches. Sinusitis can cause most of the same symptoms. Depression can be written off as seasonal depression or the winter blues. There are several ways carbon monoxide poisoning can be misdiagnosed as something else entirely. Many cases are not discovered until permanent damage to the heart, brain, and other organs has occurred.

Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is created in a variety of ways. An internal combustion engine releases carbon monoxide while burning fuel. Any time you run your vehicle, mower, or gas-powered backup generator, you’re producing carbon monoxide. Don’t think this means your fireplace or wood stove is safe, however. The smoke that escapes your chimney when you’re burning coal or wood in the fireplace, wood burning stove, or furnace also creates carbon monoxide. Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by following these tips:

  • Carbon Monoxide Detector – install a carbon monoxide detector and make sure the batteries are always good.
  • Chimney Inspections – even for chimneys that are not used on a regular basis.
  • Flue Inspections – the chimney flue isn’t the only flue in the house. Call us for more details.
  • Furnace Inspections – make sure your HVAC system and ventilation system are working properly.
  • Fireplace Inspections – fireplaces and wood stoves should be inspected at least once or twice per year.

Regular inspections protect your family and home from carbon monoxide poisoning and many other issues surrounding the chimney and flue. Keep the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning in the back of your mind if you begin to experience them during the winter months or any time you use the fireplace.

Give us a call at Lou Curley’s Chimney service at 610-626-2439 if you’d like to schedule a full chimney and fireplace inspection or discuss issues you’re having with your chimney. Both of the chimney inspectors who work here are CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) certified and pursue continued education and additional certifications throughout the year. We’re confident that we’re the solution to all of your chimney needs.