Archive | October, 2011

The Silent Killer

24 Oct

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of unintentional poisoning deaths in the United States, claiming more than 400 lives each year.  Carbon monoxide (CO) is so deadly because you cannot smell, see, or taste it, but if inhaled at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. Fatality is highest among the elderly, fetuses, infants, and people with anemia or with a history of heart or respiratory disease.

Prevention is the key to avoiding CO poisoning. Below are several steps the CDC has published to reduce the risk:

  • Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  • Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters (catalytic) indoors. Although these heaters don’t have a flame, they burn gas and can cause CO to build up inside your home, cabin, or camper.
  • If you smell an odor from your gas refrigerator’s cooling unit have an expert service it. An odor from the cooling unit of your gas refrigerator can mean you have a defect in the cooling unit. It could also be giving off CO.
  • When purchasing gas equipment, buy only equipment carrying the seal of a national testing agency, such as the American Gas Association of Underwriters’ Laboratories.
  • Install a battery-operated CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. National standards recommend that a CO alarm be placed near the bedrooms close enough to hear it when the bedroom doors are closed. If the bedrooms are not together, additional alarms will needed.

CO is produced whenever fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned – and can be produced by common household appliances. Some sources of CO poisoning can include:

  • Gas water heaters
  • Home heating systems
  • Kerosene space heaters
  • Grills, hibachis or portable gas camp stoves
  • Idling motor vehicles
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Fireplaces

The symptoms of CO poisoning can mimic the flu, food poisoning, or other illnesses and you may not be inclined to think that CO poisoning could be the cause. At a low level of exposure (35-50 parts per million), shortness of breath, nausea, and headaches are common. At a moderate level (200-400 parts per million), victims experience more severe headaches, dizziness, mental confusion, and often become nauseated or faint. The longer the exposure of CO, the more time it takes to recover and a greater chance of death or permanent physical damage. If you think you have been exposed to Carbon Monoxide the EPA recommends that you quickly move to fresh air, seek immediate medical attention, call 911 if life-threatening symptoms are present, and then get a qualified professional to investigate and repair the source of CO before returning to the affected area.

I have had the unfortunate responsibility of investigating one such fatality in Texas, and I will never forget the sorrow I saw in the eyes of the family. Since then, this issue has been close to my heart.  As a way to give back to the community and people that have supported me, I will be offering free carbon monoxide testing to senior adults in the Friendswood and surrounding area. My goal is to help educate residents regarding the dangers of carbon monoxide
poisoning and reduce the risks of needless deaths among those who are most vulnerable.  For more information about this service or other HVAC information please contact, call 832-466-9980, or visit my website at


Dave Wilson


Fall is Here

17 Oct

Have you had your home heating system inspection yet? According to HEALTHY LIVING’s fall 2011 issue (one of America’s leading HEALTH MAGAZINES), one of the top 5 simple steps for fall wellness includes getting your HEATING SYSTEMS CLEANED! This not only helps in keeping your system free of allergy-provoking dust and mold but also extends the life of your system, saves you up to 30% on your energy consumption, and keeps you and your family safe from furnace fires and deadly levels of carbon monoxide.

Dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide can seep into your home through a crack in your heat exchanger, sometimes called a fire box. When a crack in the heat exchanger occurs, the deadly carbon monoxide is distributed throughout the home via the duct system. Because carbon monoxide is tasteless, odorless, and colorless, many tragic deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning occur every year. Levels as low as 35 parts per million can make you sick.

In order to keep your home and family safe, we recommend you get your annual heating system inspection early before any problems arise. Call Dave at Wilson Mechanical and you’ll get a 19-point furnace tune-up, cleaning, and safety-check, including a carbon monoxide test for only $59.00 for one system or $109.00 for two systems! If you have more than two systems, than the cost is only $50.00 extra per system. That’s at least a $30.00 savings over normal rates!

The list below includes some of the components we inspect during a service check of your furnace:

• Safety test for carbon monoxide (CO)
• Check for hazardous debris in the chimney and flue
• Check heat exchanger for cracks and holes
• Check operation of thermostat and safety controls
• Check gas pilot safety system and clean as required
• Check blower motor and clean fan as needed
• Check blower operation
• Check condition, tension and alignment of fan belt, and adjust as needed
• Check gas piping to furnace for leaks
• Check safety limits and flame roll out switches
• Clean burners and set for proper combustion and ignition
• Check inducer motor
• Check pressure switches
• Check for air leaks

In addition to having a furnace inspection to keep your heating system in tip-top shape, there are many things you can do as a home owner. Some of these include:

Testing your CO detector – Test your CO detector to make sure it works. Replace the battery at this time as well. Don’t have a CO detector? Get one or I can get you one for you! And don’t forget about the smoke detector!

Keeping your furnace clear – Make sure there are no clothes, lint, or furniture blocking airflow to your furnace. Also make sure there is nothing flammable stored near the furnace that could explode given the chance.

Changing your air filter – Clogged filters can significantly restrict airflow to your furnace and seriously hurt its performance. For best performance, it is recommended that you change filters once a month.

Now is the perfect time to call and make sure your heating system is safe and reliable. The seasons are changing and you won’t need your heater for another month or so. Why not take this slight down time for your climate control equipment to make sure your family is safe and cozy all winter. With over 23 years experience, environmentally friendly service, and top quality products, owner Dave Wilson ensures your furnace will be operating at its peak performance so you can relax in your safe, comfortable home.

You can contact me at 832-466-9980 or

Dave Wilson