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Guardian Plumbing & Heating Ltd. Blog

Guardian Angle EP#6 – Carbon Monoxide

Today, I have 3 simple pieces of advice that can save your life!

Blaine here for Guardian Plumbing and Heating. Excited to bring you our another Episode of the Guardian Angle. These videos are for you, our customers. They are not intended to be heavy, technical, install your own equipment tutorials, but alternatively, easy to understand tips about things that most people can do to protect their homes and increase the life of all their Plumbing and heating equipment.

Remember when you were a kid and you would ignore the advice of your parents. well….Now that you are older….and…. maybe you have kids who ignore you its time to you look back and realize how smart your parents actually were and how important it is to listen to people who have experience. Just like this video of my brother Joey and his son Caleb.

Keep Caleb in mind as I share this advice on Carbon Monoxide.

Carbon Monoxide is a tasteless, odourless gas that is extremely toxic. At times we get calls from people claiming that they can smell Carbon Monoxide in their homes and they could be right, There is a good chance that there could be Carbon Monoxide in the mix, its just not the carbon monoxide that you are smelling.

Interesting fact, a properly running gas appliance, with the correct combustion air, actually creates Carbon Dioxide, which is the same as what you breath out, but it can take a very little change, like a reduction of fresh air into your home, turn on some exhaust fans and your gas appliance will start to produce carbon monoxide instead.

Without proper ventilation these levels can increase causing serious health hazards.

  • At 35 ppm you will experience Headache and Dizziness within 6 to 8 Hours
  • At 400 ppm frontal Headaches can occur in 1-2 hours, becoming life threatening after 3 hours
  • 1600 ppm you will be puking in 20 minutes, death within an hour
  • And at 12,800 ppm you can die within 1 to 3 minutes

Carbon Monoxide displaces the oxygen in the body’s hemoglobin, essentially suffocating your organs.

The weird thing is that your body actually prefers Carbon Monoxide over 200 times more than oxygen, making the risk of poisoning extremely high.

So…. What are some things that we can do to protect ourselves?

1) Number 1 – the first thing you can do to protect yourself from CO is to get a Carbon Monoxide detector – Most commercial units go off between 30 and 50 ppm but you can also get units that will detect low levels down to 5 ppm

  • It is recommended that you place them outside the living and sleeping spaces

2) Number 2 – second thing you should do is to always check your vents, chimneys and air intakes. Especially when it gets extremely cold out, the intakes will freeze over suffocating your gas appliance and causing it not to burn clean.

3) Number 3 – you should have your equipment serviced annually by a professional. Not only will they clean your equipment, check for obvious signs of improper operation, but we always check the intakes and exhausts for blockages and the heat exchanger for cracks.

This unit is one that we found, and the clamshell design had failed and split at the seam. Looking in from the inspection panel you are actually able got see the blue flames in the plenum sending flue gases and potential carbon monoxide into the houses duct system and distributing them around the house – See Video

As you can see, it is extremely important to check over your gas appliances on an annual basis. Not only will they last longer, they will give you peace of mind that the gases are being exhausted out of the house in a safe manner. Please take the time to find the vents and intakes on your home and be aware of your neighbours vents as well as you could save their life if they don’t see it in time! If you have any trouble finding where your gas appliances exhaust out of your home, give us a call and we would be glad to stop by and show you what to look out for.

Here at Guardian Our top priority is building trust and integrity through lifetime partnerships that meet our customers needs. This is accomplished through a WOW experience for our customers consisting of honesty and fairness, exceptional technical knowledge, reliable, efficient products and a commitment to excellence. One of the key ways we fulfill this mission is through the Guardian Protection Plan our protection plan includes Annual Maintenance included, 20% Discount on repairs, 24 Hour Priority Service and industry leading Lifetime Warranty on Recommended Repairs.

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And that’s how we saw things today from the Guardian Angle!


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