Chances are, when the temperatures outside start to drop, you simply reach for your thermostat inside your home and set it to a comfortable temperature. However, Chimney Sweeps of America in Denver knows that safe home heating starts with a thorough, pre-winter inspection. By making an appointment with us now, you can rest assured that you and your family will be safe all winter long.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, around 200 people die each year from preventable carbon monoxide poisoning caused by inefficient venting of their home’s heating system. In addition, around 10,000 people are diagnosed each year with carbon monoxide related injuries.
Since the symptoms of low-level carbon monoxide poisoning mimic winter illnesses (nausea, headaches, fatigue or dizziness), it’s highly likely that there’s an even greater number of cases that go undiagnosed.
If you find yourself with persistent flu or cold-like symptoms, it’s a good idea to see your doctor for a blood test. Carbon monoxide slowly suffocates your cells by replacing life-giving oxygen with carbon monoxide molecules. This process will eventually cause permanent damage to your brain, heart, other organs, and tissues. There are treatment options available for low-level poisoning, and your doctor will discuss all of your options with you – if and when that discussion needs to take place.
So why is this such a problem in modern times? Haven’t people been heating their homes by burning gas and oil for years without much trouble?
Well, today’s houses are much more airtight than their older counterparts. With the focus on energy efficiency to keep heating costs down and help save the environment, homeowners have buttoned up their houses to the maximum. This reduction in airflow also means that any toxic gasses that escape your heating system and end up in your house aren’t vented quickly. And that means you and your family end up breathing them in for a longer period of time.
So, what can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones? Luckily, it’s relatively easy to prevent the issue before it even starts with safe home heating. Proper cleaning of your chimney or flue to ensure that there are no blockages is a great first step. During an entire summer of disuse, birds and other small animals can get inside and build homes, or there can be soot buildup. Other debris left over from last year should also be cleaned out before you begin using your fireplace again.
Proper airflow in the chimney ensures that heating system gasses have somewhere to go, instead of lingering in your house. It also provides a source of fresh air and oxygen for clean burning.
For a professional cleaning and inspection, you can always call us here at Chimney Sweeps of America in Denver. Our team of dedicated professionals provides the maintenance needed to help your system last longer and keep it functioning properly. It’s easy, inexpensive and worth being able to rest easy knowing that you and your family will be protected from carbon monoxide poisoning and its effects.