Carbon monoxide (CO) is pretty scary stuff. It is invisible, colorless and odorless. It is undetectable by humans. Even worse, it is extremely harmful, causing severe illness and death. Perhaps worst of all, it is produced by some things we do every day, like heating our homes and mowing the lawn. In order to avoid the health risks associated with this deadly gas, the best solution is to equip your home with a carbon monoxide detector.
How CO Gets In Your Home
Carbon monoxide is not rare, and in very low concentrations it is not harmful, so there is often some negligible amount present in the air. It’s when the air becomes too densely concentrated with CO that your family’s health is at risk.
Some possible sources of increased CO levels in your home may include:
- A dirty or clogged chimney
- An improperly sealed gas or oil furnace
- Improper ventilation when using tools or machinery, such as in the garage
- Lack of air exchange between the home and outside
Any of these can contribute to unsafe levels of carbon monoxide, potentially paving the way for you or your family to become ill.
The Dangers of CO
As mentioned above, carbon monoxide is potentially deadly. One estimate by the United States Consumer Product Safety Division reports that over 150 Americans die each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning, which does not include poisoning caused by automobiles.
The effects of CO poisoning may not be immediately obvious, as they can build up and progress over time, and the symptoms may look like something less serious. In short, carbon monoxide is an unfortunate but very real risk for homeowners.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The good news is that there is a very simple and affordable solution to potential CO poisoning. Installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home keeps your family safe. The alarm will alert you if concentration of the gas has risen to an unsafe level, giving you time to evacuate and fix the leak before it causes any health problems.
Many modern smoke detectors include technology to detect carbon monoxide, so you only need to purchase, install and maintain one device. These combination devices can literally be lifesavers in your home, and at an extremely affordable cost.
With proper maintenance of your CO detector, it really can be that easy to keep your family safe and healthy.
You depend on your water heater year round. Even in the warmer spring and summer months, you need reliable access to hot water for everything from showers to laundry to house cleaning. That means your water heater’s getting a workout all year, so you can’t afford for it to ever break down.
What Water Heater Maintenance Entails
The real key to keeping your water heater in good working order is to have it checked out regularly by a professional. Yearly maintenance services of this kind involve a thorough draining, cleaning and inspection of all parts in your water heating system. During a maintenance visit, technicians will clean out any sediment that built up over time, make sure all parts of your water heater are working properly, and make any necessary part replacements or repairs.
Many people are hesitant to spend money on a routine maintenance visit when their water heater seems to be working just fine. But what you have to remember is that many problems don’t show any symptoms until they’ve become quite severe. And the last thing you want is for your water heater to suddenly break down and require emergency repairs.
Not only is this inconvenient, it’s expensive. Emergency repairs will cost you a lot more than that yearly maintenance checkup. Plus, you never know when you’re going to need them. On the other hand, you can schedule a maintenance visit for any time that’s convenient for you.
Saving Money Year Round
And staving off emergencies isn’t the only way that keeping up with your water heater maintenance saves you money. When it’s maintained properly, your water heater runs much more efficiently. This helps to keep your monthly energy bills down, and while it may not be a lot each month, that savings will really add up over time to more than cover the cost of the maintenance itself.
You’ll also find that a well–maintained water heater lasts longer than one that doesn’t receive this type of treatment. So even if your water heater doesn’t break down frequently, you’ll still have to replace it sooner than you would otherwise. And that’s an added expense. After all, the more years you get out of your water heater, the less you pay each year, so it’s definitely worthwhile to keep it in good shape as long as possible.
Regular water heater maintenance doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time and energy. All you have to do is schedule a visit for a time that’s convenient for you and let a trained technician do the rest. That way, you can rest assured knowing your water heater will work when you need it for years to come.