During winter months when people are more inside, homeowners and employees have headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea and memory loss. The first thing that I test for is low level carbon monoxide poisoning. Typically the carbon monoxide detector on your ceiling or wall at home or in your business has a limit of detection or the amount of carbon monoxide needed to sound the alarm set at 70 parts per million (ppm) after 60 minutes. My meter can test down to .01 PPM. We see a serious problem when carbon monoxide is present in the home or business but is below the limit of detection for the alarm to sound. Low levels of carbon monoxide at 2 or even 3 parts per million may cause the headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea and memory loss .
According to Harvard Medical School's Harvard Health Publishing, a person exposed to "very low" levels of carbon monoxide over a period of weeks or months can develop flu-like symptoms, include headaches, fatigue, malaise, and occasionally nausea and vomiting. Long-term exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can also cause "numbness, unexplained vision problems, sleep disturbances, and impaired memory and concentration," according to the same Harvard Health Publishing article.
Average carbon monoxide levels in homes range from 0.5 parts per million (ppm) to 30 ppm or higher, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
A low-level detector from the National Safety Institute can detect levels as low as 5 ppm. The EPA notes that no carbon monoxide standards have been established for indoor air. Standards for outdoor air quality are exposure to 9 ppm for eight hours, and 35 ppm for one hour, according to a chart published by the EPA.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is the #1 cause of poisonings in the U.S. Yet less than 5% of all CO poisonings are reported! The safe and efficient operation of your heating equipment and other combustion appliances cannot be determined without testing using a calibrated combustion analyzer. Because the technology, instruments, and training to do this testing correctly has only been available for a few years, odds are it’s never been done. Your service technician should be certified to properly test and diagnose potential CO exposure.
It’s About Your Health and Safety Carbon monoxide, even in small quantities, can cause serious health problems, particularly in children and the elderly. Millions of unsuspecting homeowners are exposed to low levels of CO and don’t even know it. Unfortunately U.L.-Listed CO alarms don’t go off until your family has been exposed to 70 ppm (parts per million) for over 3-1/2 hours! Most international limits for unsafe levels, including OSHA and the World Health Organization’s guidelines, are between at 15-35 ppm. Carbon monoxide can come from additional sources in your home besides the heating equipment, and those sources should also be checked. They include your Water Heater, Gas Range, Gas Logs, Space Heater, and Boiler — even an attached garage.
Even New Equipment Needs to Be Tested Anytime equipment is installed, it’s being exposed to conditions in which it hasn’t been tested to perform. Venting systems, combustion air, duct systems, additional appliances in the building, building pressure etc., can all affect its operation. Besides that, after leaving the factory, it’s likely your equipment has been loaded and unloaded on trucks and transported several times. Vibration and shock can cause components to shift and move. The only way to truly know if your new equipment is operating safely and efficiently is to test it once it’s been installed.
We use a very accurate carbon monoxide detector. 720-527-8510
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