Officials warn about carbon monoxide as residents turn on heaters

Technician inspects and repairs heater for carbon monoxide, as colder temperatures arrive. (WDTN-Beairshelle Edmé)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)- A chilly day on Saturday  may have many turning off the air conditioner for the weekend.

Instead, some may be using their heaters for the first time in months.

And as that happens, officials are cautioning users about carbon monoxide dangers.

If you’re preparing for winter, experts say part of that prep list should include your furnace or heater.

For places like Kelly Heating and Air Conditioning, it’s prime time.

With summer temperatures slowly drifting away, their team is inspecting what could be hiding in your home.

“We’re checking for carbon monoxide. We’re checking to make sure the air flow’s good. We’re checking to make sure that the gas pressure is set right. We’re cleaning burners and just overall checking heat exchanger and everything is burning at its maximum efficiency,” listed Danny Wells, owner of the HVAC company.

Wells says his team finds problems that an average eye doesn’t.

Carbon monoxide is present when heater and furnace pipes are broken or damaged.

When the toxic gas can’t escape, it stays in your home. And it’s odorless and colorless so you won’t see it, but will eventually feel it.

That’s when first responders, like the Sugarcreek Fire Department, end up responding to serious health complications.

“It can have a cumulative effect gradually with headaches, nausea, tiredness and in extreme levels it can lead to sudden syncopal episodes. In the EMS community that’s what we call when people pass out,” Lt. Christopher Keene explained.

To avoid these dangers, fire departments and heating experts recommend annual routine maintenance.

And not only could it save a life, it could also save you money.

“It could absolutely affect your bill,” Wells confirmed. “If a furnace has a blocked air filter, it’s not gonna run it’s cycle probably. It’s gonna cycle on what’s called a high limit, which is gonna cause it to come on and off a lot.”

That’s just another reason to have a tune up and protect your home, according to experts.

On average, it can cost anywhere between $70 to $100 dollars to inspect your furnace.

Another recommendation is to buy a carbon monoxide detector for your home.

If you suspect you home may have carbon monoxide, call 9-1-1 immediately.

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