There’s no doubt about it: an annual heating system inspection and follow-up maintenance is essential to the prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning. Many agencies, including the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, EPA, National Fire Prevention Association and the American Lung Association, encourage the regular maintenance of home heating systems and chimneys in order to keep “the silent killer” at bay.
A simple maintenance plan and monthly check-up can help prevent this silent and odorless killer.
- A well-tuned furnace or boiler, when connected to the properly-sized venting system or flue, will operate efficiently and keep the home warm, comfortable and safe.
- The flue or venting system must be structurally sound, clean and free of blockages.
- Homeowners should contract for an annual inspection to insure these conditions.
- Have a qualified technician service your furnace at least once a year.
- Have chimneys checked annually by a C.S.I.A. Certified chimney sweep, who can clean the chimney or repair it as needed.
- Replace filters as recommended by your technician.
Carbon monoxide detectors are another “must have” for the home today:
- These are readily available and affordable, so every home should have at least two.
- Mount one near the furnace, and the other near the family sleeping area.
Although carbon monoxide detectors have been lifesavers, they are not a substitute for routine maintenance. Remember that detectors point out a problem; maintenance can avoid the problem to begin with.
Considering the benefits of a well-maintained heating system – and the risks involved when systems are neglected – the smart homeowner considers such inspections a sound investment.
More information on Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: http://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm