Tag Archives: carbon monoxide


Blah, blah, blah (eye roll)…you’ve heard it once, and you’ll hear it again: “It’s important to service the appliances in your home annually!” However, is this truly necessary? 

Of course, in a perfect world, we’d do so, but in most cases you can probably defer, take your chances, and end up ahead of the game in the long run. 

With your heating system, however, I emphatically say: “Service your heating system(s) annually. NO EXCEPTIONS, even if it’s brand new!” 

Service is vital to extend the serviceable life of the heating system and maintain optimum efficiency (e.g., reduce operating costs), but also for safety reasons. 

 If, for instance, a crack develops in the furnace’s heat exchanger, deadly carbon monoxide can be dispersed throughout the home. Annual heating system inspections and service by qualified HVAC contractors could, in fact, be lifesavers, and they’re inexpensive. 

August (summertime) is a great time to have your heating systems fully serviced before the upcoming busy heating system! 

 TIP: Ask the HVAC contractor to leave a sticker on the appliance with the date and type of service. Then get on their schedule to return again next year (and years following) around the same time. 

 While well-maintained heating systems are essential for you and your family, consistent maintenance also gives confidence to future homeowners (e.g., would-be-buyers will know your home is well and proactively maintained). Finally, please make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home; I like the combination smoke-carbon monoxide detectors myself. 

There it is: install CO detectors and get those heating systems serviced! Super simple, super-smart moves.Do you have questions or comments about heating systems or home inspections in general? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Detectors

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that forms from incomplete combustion of fuels, such as natural or liquefied petroleum gas, oil, wood or coal.

Facts and Figures

  • 480 U.S. residents died between 2001 and 2003 from non-fire-related carbon-monoxide poisoning.
  • Most CO exposures occur during the winter months, especially in December (including 56 deaths, and 2,157 non-fatal exposures), and in January (including 69 deaths and 2,511 non-fatal exposures). The peak time of day for CO exposure is between 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Many experts believe that CO poisoning statistics understate the problem. Because the symptoms of CO poisoning mimic a range of common health ailments, it is likely that a large number of mild to mid-level exposures are never identified, diagnosed, or accounted for in any way in carbon monoxide statistics.
  • Out of all reported non-fire carbon-monoxide incidents, 89% or almost nine out of 10 of them take place in a home.

(read full article here)