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How Gas Fireplaces May Impact Indoor Air Quality

How Gas Fireplaces May Impact Indoor Air Quality

Following the gas stove controversy, a lot of people are starting to search their houses for additional sources of indoor air pollution. Your fireplace may come up in your search because anything involving fire or gas can raise concerns. But, if your fireplace is in good working order and is used sensibly, you should be able to assemble around the hearth without incident.

Yet, over 50,000 people visit hospital emergency rooms each year as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to a research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Carbon monoxide emissions are a possibility with any type of fireplace, including gas, electric, traditional wood-burning, and pellet-burning models.

According to John Crouch, Director of Public Affairs for the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association, “There are many different kinds of fireplaces, unlike gas stoves, which are all fundamentally the same from a combustion standpoint” (HPBA). Carbon monoxide emissions may occur if your home is improperly ventilated, uses substandard fuel, or relies on wood that burns poorly. If you have a gas fireplace, you should have a safety screen over it or a vent to the outside of your house to stop the buildup of carbon monoxide.

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“Gas fireplaces offer a realistic aesthetic and quickly heat any space with real flames, but like anything that incorporates fire and gas, gas fireplaces may create significant safety hazards,” explains Ashley Murphy, Merchant of Fire and Pool at Home Depot.

How can I be sure that my fireplace is secure?

It’s crucial to study the tiny print and be familiar with the device before using a gas fireplace. Fans of DIY should avoid building a fireplace because the proper technique to operate a fireplace depends on its type. “Although some gas fireplaces may only use natural gas, some can use propane as well. Never use fuel other than that specified on a gas fireplace’s rating plate, “Murphy adds.

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It’s time to call a professional if your chimney is emitting an odd odor, noise, or cloud of smoke. Due to frequent use, dust, grime, ash, and soot can accumulate over time. But, if the appliance is brand-new, it will need a curing or off-gassing period. According to Health Within Your Walls “In accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, ventilate the area throughout this period. Ventilation efforts will be aided by opening windows, running ceiling and window fans, and using portable air purifiers.”

How Can I Make My Home’s Air Quality Better?

Murphy suggests, “Carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous because it cannot be seen or smelled. Make sure the batteries are current and functioning properly if smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are already present in your home.”

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New carbon monoxide detectors ought to be installed in your house on every floor, including the basement and garage. Murphy suggests mounting it inside or directly outside of each bedroom door. She advises adding extra CO2 alarms within 5 to 20 feet of fireplaces and keeping fire extinguishers close by specifically for fireplaces.

The best technique to detox your house, according to Health Within Your Walls, is as follows:

  • Air monitoring and purifying tools are essential if you cannot remove or replace gas appliances. These tools will notify you of airborne contaminants and start purification processes to remove poisons from the air in certain areas.
  • Whenever you are cooking, it is essential to use an exhaust fan or range hood that is immediately vented to the outside of the house.
  • Ensure sure your ventilation system is adequate. As it relates to combustion appliances and equipment, HRV or ERV systems function to balance your interior air and eliminate extra impurities.
  • Avoiding dangerous, contaminated air can be made easier with an active or smart ventilation system that reacts to VOC monitoring sensors and will immediately ventilate if prescribed VOC levels are exceeded.
  • Place carbon monoxide detectors 10 feet or less away from any gas equipment.

Buying a historical house? According to Crouch, “We frequently discover that homeowners purchase property without verifying that the fireplace that was previously installed is up to regulations.”

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Schedule a walk-through with experts rather than ignoring the calls for maintenance (we repeat: update the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector). Every year, you should have your fireplace inspected, and if you have a chimney, you should also follow up with a repair business. The National Fire Protection Association advises having your property thoroughly inspected by qualified professionals, even though it may seem like a hassle. Preventative maintenance is the finest approach to safeguard your house and will always pay off, from busted pipes to a blocked chimney.

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