Carbon Monoxide, The Silent Killer [What you need to be aware of when heating your home]

As the arctic breezes set in and we all go to turn on our heating systems we would like to remind you to get your heating system serviced. Gas heaters, in particular, should be serviced every year due to the potential of carbon monoxide leaking into your home.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly and affects many unsuspecting homes each year. At North West, we want to make sure the heating in your system is safe for you and your family.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a natural gas, made through the incomplete combustion of fuels. It is colourless, odourless and can make you very sick. If it is left untreated there can be potentially fatal consequences. One of the reasons it makes us so sick is because it displaces and suffocates the oxygen in our bloodstream. Unfortunately, it is a common byproduct of gas products which is expelled via a flue system. If there is a leak carbon monoxide,  there is no indication of it being in your home but through servicing your system, leaks can be prevented.

Side effects of carbon monoxide poisoning

Diagnosing carbon monoxide poisoning can be very difficult as it is currently flu season and we are dealing with a global pandemic. One of the most common initial side effects is that you experience a headache or nausea that clears up when you go outside.

Other serious side effects include: 

  • Tiredness
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Weakness

If you experience any side effects it is advised you see a doctor as soon as possible.

Why is it important to get your heater serviced now?

Now more than ever, you should get your gas heater serviced. We have been working remotely from home for over a year and during that time we experienced a very long winter where we would often have the heater going all day. In late 2020, the Victorian government issued a statement advising people of the implications associated with the extended use of their gas heaters. Just like any appliance, if you leave a gas heater running for an extended period of time, it will begin to malfunction from general wear and tear.

Extended use can be considered using an appliance for longer than six hours and many of us have been guilty of leaving the heater on all day while working at home. Before you worry that you may have carbon monoxide in your home, call your heating specialist to get it serviced. Servicing your heater will not only give you peace of mind, but will extend the lifespan of your gas heating system as well. Other benefits of servicing your heating system include:

  • It will keep your energy bill low
  • Your pilot light will stay connected and be scheduled for replacement
  • Less potential of house fire occurring

Energy Safe Victoria recommends having a carbon monoxide test every year to ensure that there are no leakages. This is an affordable option for many Australian homes as we can perform a negative pressure test and use certified mobile equipment to determine leaks. Alternatively, you may install a carbon monoxide detector which need replacing every four years.

What is included in your service?

At North West, we go above and beyond servicing your heating system to ensure it is in peak condition for the winter season. As part of our heating service, we always perform a dedicated carbon monoxide test. This includes:

  • A Negative Pressure Smoke Test
  • A Carbon Monoxide Spillage Test
  • Checks for discolouration and wear and tear on the heating system and surrounding surfaces
  • A written report and certificate of compliance for rental providers

If you want to protect your family and your home from carbon monoxide this winter, don’t hesitate to book your service.