Anyone living in Montana should make carbon monoxide safety a top priority for their home. According to SafeWise, consumer safety experts, Montana ranks third for the most carbon monoxide poisoning-related deaths in the nation. In fact, 34% of these poisonings are due to heating systems in the home, like your furnace.

These are shocking statistics, but ones all Montanans should be aware of because we typically experience six months of winter annually. We depend on our heating systems to keep our homes warm during the colder months, but most carbon monoxide poisonings occur during the winter. Before you turn up your thermostat this winter, ask yourself this: when was the last time you scheduled furnace repair services? If it’s been a while, it’s a good idea and essential to have furnace maintenance done as soon as possible to check for CO leaks.

At Mountain Heating and Cooling, we are carbon monoxide safety experts, especially in relation to your HVAC system. We take your safety seriously, which is why preventing CO leaks is of the highest importance to us. In this blog, we share our expertise about what carbon monoxide poisoning is, what steps you can take to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home, and what you can expect when we perform home furnace inspections. Read on for more information, or if you’re ready to book an inspection, schedule an appointment here or call us at (406) 586-4007.

Carbon Monoxide Safety: “The Silent Killer”

What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Commonly known as “The Silent Killer,” carbon monoxide poisoning gets this name because carbon monoxide has no odor, no taste, and is non-irritating. Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when carbon monoxide prevents your body from getting oxygen, causing a range of harmful symptoms Though it can affect people differently, low dose carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms include dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, nausea, confusion, and heart flutters. In severe cases, exposure to carbon monoxide and high carbon monoxide poisoning levels can cause one to lose consciousness, suffer brain damage, and even die.

What To Do If You Suspect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning in your home, immediately follow these steps:

  1. Get outside of your home as quickly as possible so you can breathe fresh air.
  2. Call 911.
  3. Only if possible, as you leave your house turn off non-electrical appliances, open windows and leave doors wide open.
  4. Call the fire department, and do not re-enter your home until authorities tell you it is safe to do so.

5 Steps You Can Take to Prevent Furnace Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide can be emitted from many sources, but especially appliances that burn fuel, like your furnace or boiler. Our friends at Trane put together a helpful inspection checklist you can use to inspect your furnace and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

  1. Look — Visually inspect the flames of the burner in your furnace. A blue color flame indicates that the fuel is burning properly. If the flame is an orange or yellow color, this can indicate that something else besides natural gas is being burned.
  2. Listen — Do you hear any unusual noises coming from your furnace? Unidentifiable sounds from your heating system—such as popping, scraping, or banging—warrant a professional technician’s expertise. Our Bozeman HVAC professionals can pinpoint the source of the noise and fix any problems that are causing the issue.
  3. Smell — While carbon monoxide is odorless, do you smell gas leaking? If so, do not light any appliances, touch electrical switches, or even use a landline phone. Get outside quickly and call 911 from a neighbor’s house or a cell phone.
  4. Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector — Carbon monoxide detectors are devices, like a fire alarm, that plug into any outlet or are battery operated and can identify the presence of carbon monoxide. If carbon monoxide is detected, an alarm will sound to notify you that you should get out of the house and call 911.
  5. Schedule Regular Furnace Inspections — Finally, and most effectively, to ensure carbon monoxide safety, have your furnace regularly inspected by a licensed technician. At Mountain Heating and Cooling, we can identify problems before they occur and ensure you have peace of mind that your heating system is operating at its optimal best. Ben Franklin said it best:, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Benefits of Home Furnace Inspections: What to Expect?

Having your furnace inspected regularly not only prevents hidden dangers like carbon monoxide poisoning, but it just makes good sense. A well-maintained furnace can last more than 20 years, saving you time and money in the long run. Besides standing the test of time, regular furnace inspections offer many benefits, including early detection of unforeseen problems, improved furnace efficiency, enhanced indoor air quality, and saving you money on costly heating repairs.

At Mountain Heating & Cooling, we offer preferred membership agreements in Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans so our customers can easily get the maintenance they need without worrying about hassle or expense. Here’s what you can expect during our home furnace inspections:

  • To begin, we will inspect your furnace visually and ensure that any areas, equipment, or piping connected to it are free of debris or obstructions.
  • Next, we’ll specifically make sure that the vent connector, the piping that carries carbon monoxide from your furnace to the outside of your home, is free from any erosion caused by corrosive gasses.
  • We will then inspect your furnace’s support structure and air duct connections. We’ll look for cracks in the support and ensure that ducting is securely sealed.
  • Finally, we’ll inspect your furnace’s burner flames. We will make sure that they are burning correctly and consistently without any sporadic motion or discoloration. As mentioned earlier, this can indicate that something else besides natural gas is being burned or fuel flow is being interrupted.

Our expert technicians will evaluate any furnace issues you might be experiencing and provide you with recommendations before we perform any services. No matter what brand of furnace you have or where you bought it, we have you covered!

Get Peace of Mind: Schedule Regular Furnace Maintenance

At Mountain Heating & Cooling, we are your Bozeman heating and cooling experts. Our licensed technicians receive extensive carbon monoxide safety and furnace repair training and certification. We will ensure you and your family have peace of mind, knowing that your heating system works exactly how it should. Be proactive—don’t neglect your furnace maintenance! Reach out and schedule an appointment today.