Experts bring awareness to carbon monoxide poisoning as Michiganders experience colder weather
Experts said there are more carbon monoxide exposures during the colder months as more people use their furnaces and heaters.
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The weather is about to get colder and homeowners need to pay attention to their furnaces. Experts are warning to check heating and cooling systems because now is the time of year to check furnaces to make sure they’re working properly.
Experts said there are more carbon monoxide exposures during the colder months as more people use their furnaces and heaters. Terry Dedoes with Consumers Energy said, “The heating season is when you see the most cases of carbon monoxide poisoning because it’s the time furnaces are running and quite often a malfunctioning furnace is a source for carbon monoxide poisoning.”
Consumers Energy suggests an annual check-up for each furnace. Homeowners should also clean or replace their furnace filters every two to three months. Dedoes recommends cleaning out any debris from where the exhaust vents.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas and known as a silent killer. 4,000 people are hospitalized and about 400 die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the CDC. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu. A person can experience a headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. If you think you’ve been exposed get some fresh air and call for emergency help.
Some ways to prevent Co2 exposure is to never leave a running car in an enclosed space like a garage or leave a generator running in an enclosed space. Make sure it’s away from any open windows and in an area that has proper ventilation.
Consumers Energy recommends homeowners install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes. They recommend installing one detector on each floor of the home.
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