Home Replacement Windows and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: What You Need To Know
We’ve got to admit it: this one took us by surprise. Is there a relationship between home replacement windows and carbon monoxide poisoning? The answer may be yes — but the relationship’s not necessarily a bad one.
Every year, as winter approaches, the news is filled with stories about carbon monoxide poisoning. Fifteen hundred people die annually due to carbon monoxide poisoning, and several thousand more seek medical attention for the condition. Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when individuals are exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide — a colorless, odorless gas put off when heat sources are improperly vented.
In homes with older, leaky windows, some of this carbon monoxide could escape to the outdoors through the windows — along with much of the home’s heating energy. Newer homes and homes that feature replacement windows are more airtight. Warmed air remains indoors. This is of course a benefit. Home replacement windows help you save energy and enjoy greater comfort in the home.
However, if carbon monoxide levels are rising in a home, that gas will not leak through a double pane or triple pane glass replacement window the way it will through a faulty, single pane older window.
The primary way to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning is to ensure that all of your heating systems are properly vented and that your home has adequate air exchange with the outdoors. Fresh air needs to circulate through your home regularly for optimum health for the homeowners.
Home replacement windows can play a critical role in providing adequate air exchange. Unlike older, faulty windows that were often painted shut, had broken weights or faulty mechanisms, modern home replacement windows open and close easily. Because you do not need storm windows, much less the ugly, thick plastic some homeowners had to staple over their windows as soon as the leaves started changing color, you can take advantage of warmer winter days by opening your home replacement windows easily and letting fresh air in.
Every home should have a CO monitor. This monitor will sound an alarm if elevated carbon monoxide levels are detected. If this occurs, the experts recommend opening all of the windows in your home — far easier if you have replacement windows that open easily and stay open — and exit the residence. Call in the appropriate emergency response teams to address the problem.
Modern home replacement windows do play a critical role in creating a more airtight home. Whether you opt for vinyl home replacement windows, fiberglass home replacement windows, or wood home replacement windows, advances in replacement window technology makes it possible to virtually eliminate unwanted air penetration. This improves the home’s energy efficiency. However, it does point to the need to have adequate ventilation for the home’s heating system and the need to have one’s heating system maintained and inspected regularly. Carbon monoxide poisoning never has to happen. Prepare now to protect yourself as winter weather approaches.