1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

July 2, 2009

Fetal Damage from Low CO Levels

This is huge! A recently released UCLA study has shown that levels of  of carbon monoxide cause damage to fetal rats at much lower levels than was previously thought to be dangerous.  For more information – here is the link: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/ucla-study-uncovers-how-chronic-94824.aspx

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November 1, 2008

:306 Smoke Detector Batteries

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:306 EcoTip: Check and clean your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. This is also a good time to change the batteries. Tonight is the daylight-savings-time change. Winter is on the way so it is important to service our detector units yearly -especially before the season when the risks of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning go up. As long as your having to remember to change the clocks –  might as well use this day as a yearly reminder to get the various detectors up to snuff.

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 Additional Information:

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May 26, 2008

:147 Water Heater Flue

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:147 EcoTip: Make sure your gas water heater is properly vented. Over time the flue vent pipes can rust out or get knocked loose. Its important that your water heater be vented according to code and the manufacturers instructions.

waterheaterflue.jpg 

This water heaters flue pipe got knocked loose so that it was venting carbon monoxide into the living space.

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Additional Information

Suggested Reading – :114

 Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas which at high levels can cause serious illness and death. CO alarms are widely available and should be considered a back-up to BUT NOT A REPLACEMENT for proper installation, use, and maintenance of fuel-burning appliances. CO alarms are designed to warn you of any unusual build-up of CO in your home.  – EPA

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April 23, 2008

:114 Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Filed under: :114 Carbon Monoxide Detectors — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:29 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:114 EcoTip: Carbon Monoxide Detectors may look like a smoke detector, but they can help alert you to another deadly hazard that is a colorless odorless gas. Most people think of Carbon Monoxide poisoning as being a winter hazard, but can be a problem any time of year if combustion appliances are in use. If you don’t already have one – its a small investment. If you have one – test it to be sure the batteries are in good shape and it is working.

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 Additional Information

Suggested Review – :112, :113

Here’s what EPA says: Consider installing a Carbon Monoxide alarm.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas which at high levels can cause serious illness and death. CO alarms are widely available and should be considered a back-up to BUT NOT A REPLACEMENT for proper installation, use, and maintenance of fuel-burning appliances. CO alarms are designed to warn you of any unusual build-up of CO in your home. These higher levels of CO may occur from improperly maintained, installed or used fuel-burning appliances, backdrafting appliances or fireplaces, or idling cars in garages. If a CO alarm is to be installed:

  1. Make sure the device is certified to the most current Underwriters Laboratory (UL) standard 2034 or the International Approval Services (IAS) 6-96 standard.
  2. Install a CO alarm in the hallway near every separate sleeping area.

 Be aware of all instructions and warnings associated with the CO alarm.

You can read more EPA information on Carbon Monoxide and detecors at http://www.epa.gov/iaq/co.html

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April 22, 2008

:113 Prevent Back-Drafting

Filed under: :113 Prevent Back-Drafting — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:28 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:113 EcoTip: Back-drafting is a serious condition that can lead to fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. It occurs when the gases for any combustion appliance or a fireplace flow into the house instead of up the chimney. It can be caused by some very simple mistakes especially in today’s very tight energy efficient structures.

http://www.epa.gov/iaq/homes/hip-backdrafting.html 

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 Additional Information

Suggested Review – :111, :112

 There are many forces that can work together to depressurize a home according to EPA these include: bathroom exhaust fans, kitchen range hoods, and clothes dryers and fireplaces. Other problems are “leaky return ducts near combustion equipment, leaky supply ducts outside the conditioned space, wind, and the stack effect (warm air rising in a building tends to depressurize lower areas). If these forces are great enough, they can work to suck air and combustion products back down the chimney or flue and into the house.”

Yesterday I talked about the importance of having doors properly undercut or a Return Air Pathway. Back-drafting is one important reason why!

Let’s say you have a balanced central heating system that has a single return air supply in a hallway and supply registers in each room. Furthermore you’ve just installed a carpet that fills the undercut under the door and substantially reduces the amount of air that can flow under the doorway. As long as the door is open, no problem, but when the door gets closed the air blowing into the bedroom can’t get back to the return. The bedroom becomes postively pressurized, but the rest of the home becomes negatively presurized. There isn’t enough air to satisfy the needs of the furnace system so air starts to flow from cracks and other available openings. In a leaky home, there is probably enough unintended air to satisfy the needs of the system, but when there isn’t enough air, the air has to come from somewhere like by back-drafting down the flue pipe for hot water heater or the furnace. If the furnace or hot water heater is in the house and doesn’t have an unblocked fresh air supply, the combustion gases can flow out into the living space. If the combustion gases have already been burned – the risk is carbon monoxide poisoning. If the gases haven’t been burned, they may ignite and cause a fire. this is just one of several dangerous back-drafting situations. EPA discusses more at: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/homes/hip-backdrafting.html 

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