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Beware of the Silent Danger

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Chimney inspections are a big part of what we do at Guaranteed Chimney Service, and we take that part of our job very seriously. Not only are we helping to ensure that our clients are getting the best performance possible out of their chimney system, but we’re doing everything we can to help make sure that system is as safe as possible, too.

Does My Fireplace Or Stove Create Carbon Monoxide?

Regardless of the type of fuel used, combustion (particularly incomplete combustion) creates byproducts — some of them dangerous — and that’s a major part of why you have a chimney. The chimney’s role, largely, is to vent those byproducts away from your living area, out of your home. This can include byproducts that you can see, like sooty carbon and built-up creosote, but it can also included byproducts that aren’t so noticeable, like colorless, odorless and highly toxic carbon monoxide. If you have a fireplace or stove and it’s being used, carbon monoxide is a given. When your appliance and chimney system are functioning the way they should, those gases should be contained and expelled. If your chimney system isn’t venting correctly, though, carbon monoxide intrusion can be a real concern.

There will always be carbon monoxide present if you are burning. As long as the draft is working properly, there is no concern.

There will always be carbon monoxide present if you are burning. As long as the draft is working properly, there is no concern.

Why Do I Have To Worry About Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is toxic — it can make you sick, and worse, CO poisoning can lead to death. And since you can’t see it, smell it or taste it, carbon monoxide is a particularly dangerous gas. That’s why it’s important for you and Guaranteed Chimney Service to do everything we can to minimize the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

What Can I Do To Minimize Risk?

Minimizing risk starts with diligence and awareness.

First, something simple: Before lighting your fire, always make sure your damper is completely open. A closed damper won’t allow gases, including carbon monoxide, to vent to the outside.

Then, keeping on top of regular chimney maintenance is key. Have your system inspected every year, to make sure that you’re aware of any damage or issues that might have cropped up, particularly with your flue liner. A cracked or otherwise damaged flue liner can contribute to allowing carbon monoxide to leak into your living area, so it’s important be aware of its state and to have any necessary repairs done as soon as possible. Having the chimney regularly swept is important as well, since a clean chimney is a better-venting chimney.

Beyond maintaining your chimney properly, a working carbon monoxide detector is an important part of minimizing risk. Since you can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, a detector is the best way to ensure that you and your family are informed and protected.

If you have any other questions about carbon monoxide or your chimney, we’re always here to help — just give Guaranteed Chimney Service a call!