By: Patricia Cermignano

Carbon Monoxide, commonly referred to as CO or the "silent killer", is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that can be fatal when inhaled. CO comes from a variety of sources that include but are not limited to:

  • Vehicles or other combustion engines that are running in an enclosed, attached garage
  • Fuel-burning appliances (such as furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, gas ranges/stoves) that are not properly installed or are not properly working
  • Blocked chimneys
  • Cracked or loose furnace exchanger

When inhaled, CO inhibits your blood's capacity to carry oxygen. Common symptoms of CO poisoning are dizziness, nausea, confusion, headache, drowsiness and vomiting.

How can you take preventative measures to protect your family from CO exposure? There are several tips that the technicians at Bob Cermignano Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc. recommend to help eliminate the threat of CO in your home. Please see below for our recommendations:

  • Install Carbon Monoxide alarms on every level of your house and near the sleeping areas
  • Have your heating system inspected and cleaned every Fall by a certified technician to ensure that there are no CO levels detected and to confirm that your HVAC system is running efficiently and effectively
  • Do not use your gas stove as a method for heating your home
  • Do not leave a car running in an enclosed, attached garage

While all preventative measures listed above are important to implement into your daily routine, our technicians want to emphasize the significance of having Carbon Monoxide alarms installed in your home. Every home with at least one fuel-burning heater or appliance should have at least one CO alarm so that it will alert you if there are any high levels of CO detected in your home. (In fact, some local building ordinances require the installation of CO alarms in your home.) It is also recommended that a CO alarm should be placed on every level of your house and near the sleeping areas. Furthermore, the CO alarm should be at least 15 feet away from the fuel-burning furnace or appliance, and it should not be placed near a window or doorway where there is dead space. Lastly, it is imperative that there is nothing blocking or obstructing the CO alarm so that it can make a clear reading of the CO levels. To test if your CO alarm is working, simply press the Test/Reset button on your alarm.

If you do not have any CO alarms installed in your home or if you want to have your current CO alarms inspected, please give Bob Cermignano Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc.'s office a call at 610-642-6323 or visit our website at for more information.