Carbon monoxide is not cool at all. As a gas fitter in Auckland with plenty of experience in the field, we know what it can do when people are exposed to this poisonous gas: low levels can cause tiredness, headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Meanwhile, high levels can lead to collapse and unconsciousness and can even be fatal. As we said, not cool at all.
Carbon monoxide is often produced by malfunctioning or wrongly installed fuel-burning appliances, including gas heaters and cookers. This is why we always urge our customers to get their gas appliances checked at least once a year.
Some of the things we look for might surprise you. For example, modern and airtight homes with ducted ventilation systems, heat transfer or extractor fans can have a detrimental effect on gas fires. These systems can create negative air pressure in the room where the appliance is operating, causing combustive products to be pulled down the flue and into the room. This creates a potential carbon monoxide hazard that we can test for and correct.
Beyond calling on our professional services, there are other things you can do to keep you and your family safe from carbon monoxide. For example, never use outdoor gas appliances inside. This includes camping cookers and barbecues as they don’t have the same safety systems as many modern indoor appliances, which shut down the gas supply when oxygen levels are low and carbon monoxide levels are high. And always fully turn off the control knob when not in use.
There are some things to look for that your gas appliance is not working as it should. These signs include:
- A yellow flame rather than a blue one – however, some flame-effect gas heaters are designed with a yellow-tipped flame to add to the effect. We’ll confirm if the yellow flame is meant to be there, or not.
- Abnormal gas flame patterns, such as flames that start “leaping” for no apparent reason.
- Sooty deposits in or around the appliance
- An unpleasant or unusual smell – think overcooked cabbage.
Don’t wait to see any of these indicators before calling us. Carbon monoxide is an invisible and hidden danger so contact us anyway and get your gas appliances checked out now, and on a regular basis in the near future.