How to Tell if you Have a Carbon Monoxide Leak

How to Tell if you Have a Carbon Monoxide Leak

Commonly referred to as "the silent killer," carbon monoxide is an extremely toxic gas that can kill you if ingested into the bloodstream over prolonged periods of time. Because it's an odorless gas, carbon monoxide poisoning victims frequently can't tell when there's a leakuntil it's too late.

To protect yourself and your family from unknowingly breathing in this poisonous gas, it's important to know the signs of a CO leak.

In this blog, we'll take a look at some common signs of a carbon monoxide leak, including:

  • The smell of exhaust gases
  • Pilot light is frequently blowing out
  • Increased soot buildup in your chimney vent
  • Brownish-yellow stains around your gas appliances
  • The onset of flu-like symptoms

To help you figure out the right number and placement of carbon monoxide detectors for your Atlanta home, we'll go into more detail below.

Gain peace of mind that your family is protected from harm with a carbon monoxide detector installed by Ackerman. Call us at 800.552.1111 or schedule online for a free installation quote today.

You smell exhaust gases

While carbon monoxide is odorless, if there's a leak you may smell the odor of exhaust gases that frequently accompany it.

What do exhaust gases smell like, you might ask? Within the interior of your home, it might smell like something is burning. This usually happens when you have a leak within one of your gas powered heating appliances.

On the exterior of your home, it might smell like car exhaust, or what you might smell while sitting in traffic. This usually occurs when there's a leak within your home's backup generator, for example.

Regardless of whether you smell exhaust gases inside or outside of your home, it's important to take the appropriate measures to remediate. As the saying goes, better safe than sorry!

Your pilot light is frequently blowing out

If the pilot light in one of your gas appliances is frequently blowing out, it could be a sign of a carbon monoxide leak.

Here's why:

Carbon monoxide is emitted during the burning of fuel. If the flame is burning clean, there will be trace amounts of CO in the air. But if the pilot light (which ignites the flame) goes out, when you go to turn on your gas appliance, it will emit toxic amounts of carbon monoxide that can be poisonous if ingested.

If you have an issue with your pilot tube or gas line, it could be blowing the pilot light out. But until the cause is determined, your home could be subject to an unhealthy flow of CO gas.

Again, because it's a silent killer, installing a carbon monoxide detector is more crucial than ever. Have a professional install one today.

There's increased soot buildup in your chimney vent(s)

All gas powered appliances are required to have proper ventilation in order to let normal traces of carbon monoxide escape to the outside of your home. If you happen to notice dark colored soot buildup around your chimney vent(s), it could be a sign of poor ventilation and exposure to unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.

While routine safety inspections of major gas appliances such as your furnace or heat exchanger will help you catch venting concerns, you're probably not regularly inspecting other gas appliances like your dryer or water heater. These could equally cause a dangerous CO leak in your home, and you'll never know.

To protect yourself and your family from the invisible killer, have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home. By the time you get around to having your chimney vents inspected, it could be too late.

You notice brownish-yellow stains around your gas appliances

Faulty or leaking gas lines will frequently cause a buildup of brownish-yellow colored stains. If you happen to notice this around your gas powered appliances, it could be a sign of a dangerous CO leak.

Whether it's due to poor installation, lack of maintenance, or normal wear and tear of your gas lines and appliances, the unfortunate fact is that CO leaks frequently go undetected, and you may not register the symptoms until it's too late.

Prevention is the best protection. In addition to having your gas appliances serviced annually by a licensed gas technician, install a CO monitor and get notified immediately if there's a leak.

You have flu-like symptoms

Unfortunately, you may not register a CO leak until you start to experience the flu-like symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. This is a worst case scenario and should be treated with the utmost of urgency.

Symptoms can range from dizziness and nausea to shortness of breath and chest pains. If you're concerned that you may have been exposed to unsafe levels of carbon monoxide, head to the nearest emergency room straight away. A blood test will confirm if it's CO poisoning.

Most victims of mild carbon monoxide exposure can recover with treatment, but because it's such a toxic gas, you still risk long term consequences, and even death.

For this reason, we can't stress it enough: If you don't have one already, install a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home today.

Note: We are not medical or public safety officials. If you have questions or concerns about carbon monoxide and its effects, visit the CDC's website here. If you think you've been exposed to carbon monoxide, call 911 immediately.

Protect your family with a carbon monoxide detector today!

At Ackerman Security, we offer the most advanced carbon monoxide detection and monitoring systems available. To keep you and your family safe from accidental CO poisoning, we'll send you immediate alerts if our systems detect the presence of unsafe levels of carbon monoxide in your home. For a free estimate, call us at 800.552.1111 or schedule online today!