Carbon monoxide. It’s a scary phrase that most of us know is bad news, but not everyone knows exactly what it is or how to detect it in their home. However, it’s important to be educated about this all-too-common problem and how a home inspector, like the ones here at J & J, can help you locate a carbon monoxide leak in your home.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that is both odorless and colorless. It’s produced by burning fuel, which is why items in your home like furnaces and water heaters are prime suspects for a CO gas leak. Carbon monoxide poisoning can easily occur as a result of a leak, resulting in symptoms ranging from headaches and dizziness all the way to vomiting, confusion, and ultimately death. Nearly 170 people in the US die every year from CO poisoning, in addition to the several thousand that are treated for less severe cases.

Whew! Clearly, possible carbon monoxide leaks aren’t something you should ever ignore. However, it can be hard to detect when these leaks are occurring. In addition to always maintaining and operating appliances according to manufacturer’s instructions, you can install CO alarms in your home. You should have an alarm on every level of the house – especially near sleeping areas. However, these detectors aren’t always perfect. If you have any questions about the safety of an appliance, it’s always best to have it checked out professionally.

Here’s an example of a fellow home inspector in Omaha finding a possible source of a carbon monoxide leak:


Cracks like these are usually the culprits when your furnace or water heater is giving off CO. Bubbling water can also be a sign of a possibly deadly leak. A good home inspector should be able to detect these cracks and red-flag your appliance as a safety hazard. Your CO alarms may not be able to detect the level of gas coming from these leaks, but they could still be causing serious health problems for you and your family.

Some of us even have the tools to detect gas leaks without cracks, such as my fellow inspector below:

Again, it’s crucial to have your appliances tested periodically by professionals. Even though you may not be aware of a carbon monoxide leak, your home inspector can give you both safety and peace of mind. If you’re here in the Nashville or Hendersonville Tennessee area and want the best – give us a call!