Carbon monoxide is an invisible, unscented and at high levels can be a deadly gas. Lower concentrations of carbon monoxide can cause headaches, lightheadedness and fatigue. Winter months may pose health and safety risks with heating systems. Poorly maintained chimneys and flues may release carbon monoxide and other harmful gases into the air. Fireplaces and woodstoves that do not have ample outdoor air supply can pour carbon monoxide and other pollutants into living spaces. Here are some DIY home heating projects that will help keep the air clean, and keep you and your family safe:
- When using a space heater, allow some air flow in the room. Open a door in the room where the space heater is located. It's a good idea to crack a window as well.
- When using an un-vented kerosene or gas space heater, follow the manufacturer's instructions for fuel use and maintenance. A yellow-tipped flame is an indication of harmful gases. The flame tip should be blue.
- Don't use a gas stove to heat your home.
- Keep the flue open when the fireplace is in use.
- When purchasing a new woodstove, make sure it is sized properly for your home and meets EPA standards.