Carbon Monoxide Leaks in the Workplace: Are You Prepared?

In your business do you rely on a gas- or oil-burning furnace to provide you with heat during the winter? If you run a restaurant do you use a gas stove?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to either question you need to know all the facts about carbon monoxide leaks.

Causes of Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced as a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion. In certain circumstances machines that burn gas or oil may develop leaks that prevent carbon monoxide from being safely diverted, and if poorly ventilated, adjacent indoor spaces become flooded with this gas the consequences could be fatal.

When carbon monoxide leaks from HVAC equipment, the heat exchanger is most frequently the source of the problem. Tiny cracks or fissures can develop that are difficult to spot without a close inspection.

The Health Risks of Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Fortunately carbon monoxide detectors can protect you from danger in most instances (if you burn gas or oil in your place or business they are a must). But low-level leaks that go undetected can cause a host of health troubles, including headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, wooziness, mental confusion and even a loss of consciousness, if building occupants are confined to small spaces with non-existent ventilation.

Such symptoms could affect customers as well as employees, and needless to say even a small carbon monoxide leak could damage your reputation in the community.

Responding to Carbon Monoxide Alerts

Carbon monoxide detectors are standard equipment in business settings with gas- or oil-fired HVAC systems. When a detector goes off it means gas is present in more than trace amounts, and everyone should vacate the premises immediately.

As you depart the building, you should try to open as many doors and windows as you can on the way out. Ideally you would have time to cut the power to your HVAC equipment—and anything else that burns gas or oil—before leaving. But if you’re feeling ill you should just get out as quickly as possible and summon an HVAC service technician to handle that task.

You should contact your HVAC contractor following a carbon monoxide leak in any case, unless the source is of the problem is a different appliance that requires a special type of service.

Carbon Monoxide Leak Prevention

Carbon monoxide detectors should be checked and tested every few months to make sure they’re still in good working order, and professional cleaning services should be hired to clean and clear chimneys and fireplaces on a yearly basis if you rely on them to assist you with ventilation.

Most importantly, furnaces, stoves and other appliances that burn fossil fuels should be cleaned and inspected annually, and a careful search for micro-damage that can eventually lead to a carbon monoxide leak should be a priority.

Premier Comfort Heating and Air technicians are trained to sniff out and repair potential carbon monoxide management problems before they blossom into anything significant, so if you contract us to perform maintenance on your HVAC equipment you can rest easy knowing we’ll protect you from this risk.

Denver Area Residents Rely on Premier Comfort Heating and Air

Carbon monoxide leaks and other types of mechanical breakdown are almost always preventable—and at Premier Comfort Heating and Air we’re experts at preventing them.

In Denver and surrounding areas Premier Comfort Heating and Air has gained a reputation for efficiency, reliability and professionalism. We invite you to call us to schedule a maintenance visit for your business’s HVAC system today.

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