Alternative Heating Methods Can Cause Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Winter House

All of us in Harford County are still feeling the effects of Winter Storm Jonas. If you lost power and it still hasn’t been restored, we want to make it clear that you have to be very careful when warming your home with alternative sources of heat. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that can build up in your home if there’s no proper ventilation, and chances are you aren’t leaving your windows open this time of year.

Don’t turn the car on inside your closed garage.

Yes, your vehicle’s heater still works, but don’t even think about sitting in your running car without opening the garage door at least halfway. If you can’t open your garage door without power, forget about it. You’ll breathe dangerous carbon monoxide within minutes.

Don’t use flameless chemical heaters, portable gas camp stoves, or charcoal indoors.

All of the above give off CO and should only be used outside.

Don’t use your gas oven to heat your house.

Studies show that about half of all stoves raise concentrations of carbon monoxide beyond the 9 parts per million the EPA has established as the top safe level. You don’t know if your oven could be in that dangerous half. Cooking for short periods is okay, but leaving it on to make the house warm is not a good idea.

Never use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.

Point the generator so the exhaust goes away from the house. Here is a complete explanation of how to connect and safely use a backup generator.

Hopefully you won’t be without power for too much longer. If you have problems with your furnace when the electricity comes back on, our HVAC technicians at One Hour Heating and Cooling in Aberdeen will be happy to help.