January 1, 1970

With holidays ahead and cold weather settling in, take the time today to check your house for any potential carbon monoxide leaks. Wherever there is combustion, there is always a potential for CO: garages, furnaces, fireplaces, water heaters, back-up generators.

Case in point: in winter we often start our cars in an attached garage. Even with an open overhead door, warming a car for two minutes spills concentrated burst of CO into the garage. Insulation and air sealing is often or non-existent between garages and the interior of the house.

Most of us have at least one CO detector in our houses, typically devices we’ve purchased at home improvement centers or hardware stores. The best practice is to ensure that CO detectors are on every level of the home and especially outside bedrooms.

Widely available CO detectors emit an alarm once CO levels exceed 35 parts per million (35 ppm) after sixty minutes (if acute levels of 400 ppm were present, the alarm would sound in four minutes). However, these detectors do not capture low levels of CO that could be emitted into your home. In fact, these detectors carry a disclaimer that they are not to be used to measure low levels of CO under 35 ppm.

Low levels of CO leaking into a home could result in chronic subtle illnesses that might be mistaken as the flu. Chronic CO poisoning is pervasive, but can be eliminated with properly maintained combustion sources.

Combustion analysis safety tests measure all levels of CO. They are a critical part of home energy audits and could be the best gift for your family’s health today and the future.

Schloegel Handyman Services & Small Step Energy Solutions have teamed up to provide a custom energy audit, plus provide the work that needs to be done to ensure your home is as efficient as it can be. Small Step Energy Solutions (913-708-8004) can help guide you through the process of a thorough assessment of your home. And if you live in Missouri, Small Step can explain rebates available through MGE and KCP&L. Learn more here.