January 2019

This $20 Purchase Could Save Your Life

If there were a simple, inexpensive device that could protect you and your family from a deadly but invisible substance in your home, wouldn’t you want one? Well, there is. For $20 or less, a carbon monoxide detector can protect you and your loved ones from a poisonous gas that cannot be smelled or seen.

 

 

Common Sources of Carbon Monoxide

According to the CDC, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning results in as many as 430 deaths and another 50,000 emergency room visits each year. The fumes that contain carbon monoxide can come from many sources. Most people know that their furnace can produce CO, but so can gas ranges, wood burning fireplaces, and charcoal grills. Alternative power sources like portable generators and lanterns can also put out the dangerous fumes, making power outages especially dangerous times for CO poisoning. If you happen to have a CO detector that plugs into the wall, be aware that it must have fresh backup batteries to operate without electricity.

Symptoms of CO Poisoning

The earliest symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, and nausea. Longer exposure will result in chest pain, vomiting, and confusion. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away. Call 911 or go to the emergency room if necessary.

What to Do When Your Carbon Monoxide Detector Sounds

A carbon monoxide detector will alert you to the presence of CO in your home before it reaches a level where it can cause serious harm. When it goes off, if no one is showing any symptoms, turn off all fume-producing appliances including the furnace and open doors and windows.  After the home is ventilated, reset the detector. It doesn’t sound again, call our service hotline at 513-216-1355 to schedule a repair of the leak. If it does sound again, call emergency services and get outside until they confirm it’s safe to go back into the home.

Check Your CO Detector Every Six Months

Of course, you hope to never need your carbon monoxide detector, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about it once it’s installed. The CDC recommends changing the batteries every six months or using a model that plugs into the wall that has a battery backup in case of power outages. You can make this a routine part of your home maintenance by changing the batteries at the same time you check or change the batteries in your smoke detector. This very small effort could save your life in the event of a carbon monoxide leak. Herrmann Services can install a combination smoke and CO alarm with a 10 year sealed battery life. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, now is the time to get one. If you do have one, make sure the batteries are fresh.

If you would like a carbon monoxide detector installed or a furnace tune-up and safety check, Herrmann Services will be glad to help you. Please call our office at 513-737-8423 or contact us here.

Save a Trip to the Doctor with a Whole-House Humidifier

winter-coldWhy does it seem that colds are more common in the wintertime? Head colds, sinus infections, sore throats, coughs…the list goes on and on. One thing homeowners don’t usually think about is the humidity level in their home. Because our furnaces run all winter long, the air inside gets drier and drier. Also, not much fresh air enters your home in the winter because you are trying to keep the heat inside. No one opens their windows in the middle of winter. You may be surprised to learn a few tricks that will help your family stay healthier and feel better in general. Humidity plays a big role.

Humidity Levels Drop in Winter

As outdoor temperatures drop during winter, humidity levels drop as well. Why? Cold air has less capacity to hold moisture than warm air does. Lower outdoor humidity levels translate to lower indoor humidity levels. This lack of moisture in the air is what creates low humidity levels. This can create a number of issues that affect your health.

Problems with Low Indoor Humidity Levels

If the humidity level drops too low, flu viruses are able to survive longer and be transmitted more easily between people. Mucous membranes in the nose and throat dry out, increasing your discomfort and susceptibility to colds. Breathing drier air can also contribute to sore throats and coughs as well as exacerbate symptoms of asthma and allergies. Dry itchy skin, cracked lips, and bloody noses are all more common in drier air as well. If you notice high incidences of static shock, your home is too dry.

Whole-House Humidifiers Keep Humidity Levels Normal

One of the easiest ways to add humidity back into the air in your home is to add a whole-house humidifier. A whole house humidifier is installed on your furnace and adds moisture to the air every time the furnace kicks on. It’s virtually maintenance free other than changing the pad at the beginning of the winter season.  

What Humidity Level Is Best During Winter?

Problems are most prevalent when the humidity level drops below 30%. At these low levels, problems like dry skin, cracked lips, nosebleeds, and aggravated symptoms of asthma and allergies are much more widespread. The ideal home humidity level is around 40-50%. This will reduce the symptoms listed above as well as lower the likelihood of static electricity. Your home will feel more comfortable and you can minimize the health issues that are commonly linked to low humidity during winter.

If you’d like more information about installing a whole-house humidifier in your home, give us a call at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online.