The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

A family of four from Iowa all died while on vacation in Tulum, Mexico.The parents and their two children all succumbed to fumes(carbon monoxide)from a water heater in their condo. Over the years I have written several articles about the dangers of this gas. It is odorless, colorless, and tasteless but highly toxic to humans and animals.

carbon monoxide - crystal lake hvac

How Does Carbon Monoxide Enter My House?

Any appliance that has a flue pipe is subject to spilling carbon monoxide. Usually, the problem is an obstruction in the flue pipe but in a furnace, it could be a faulty heat exchanger. That is why it is so important to have your furnace and gas water heater inspected on a regular basis.

The typical homeowner does not have the equipment needed to inspect a heat exchanger. But everyone should inspect their water heaters for any signs of carbon monoxide spillage. If you see any discoloration on
top of the heater around the draft diverter or if you feel significant heat spilling from the diverter you need to call for an inspection.

Protecting Yourself and Your Family

The most effective protection from carbon monoxide poisoning on a 24/7 basis is to install a professional grade carbon monoxide detector. A standard big box detector will warn you of elevated carbon monoxide levels after 4-10 hours. This with a reading between 40-100 ppm (parts per million). This means that in one million pounds of air there are 40 to 100 pounds of carbon dioxide. The unit we recommend warns you at 5 ppm. If we do a safety inspection and cleaning of your equipment, we will give you a 10% discount on the carbon monoxide detector.


Call me directly if you have any questions or concerns about this or HVAC concerns at 815-404-4636 or email

You can request an appointment online as well. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. We are here for you.

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