Can Propane Heaters Make You Sick?

Using propane to heat your home, like natural gas, has some danger, including carbon monoxide poisoning and fire. However, if you operate your heater properly, propane is a pretty safe way to heat your home. Some dwellings are totally heated with gas. You may also utilize gas heaters outside to warm up your outdoor living space when the weather becomes cold.

Is it safe to breathe when using a propane heater?

If you’re heating a room within a house or other structure, choose for an electric space heater instead of a gas heater, as propane heaters can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if not properly ventilated. Propane heaters require oxygen to function.

Is it safe to use propane heaters indoors?

Yes, propane heaters may be used indoors! Propane heaters come in two varieties: indoor and outdoor. Indoor variants are made to be safe to use inside. If you opt for an indoor model, you can expect a warm and secure environment. Otherwise, you’ll need to keep your gas heater outside or in a garage with plenty of air and a carbon monoxide detector.

There’s a compelling reason to double-check the propane heater you purchase. The smoke produced by indoor and outdoor propane heaters is handled quite differently.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be caused by using an outdoor-only gas heater without adequate ventilation.

Can a propane furnace cause carbon monoxide poisoning?

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be caused by a variety of appliances and vehicles:

  • Oil-burning furnaces, wood-burning fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, and propane heaters are examples of non-electrical heating appliances.
  • Vehicles with internal combustion engines, such as cars, snowmobiles, boats, and all-terrain vehicles
  • Gas stoves, propane refrigerators, and propane water heaters are examples of appliances that run on natural gas or propane.

These equipment and vehicles do not represent a health risk in most cases, although they can induce carbon monoxide poisoning. Poisoning can occur in the following situations:

  • In a closed or poorly ventilated location, appliances or vehicles are used. Examples:
  • Even if the garage door is open, you start your car engine inside. Regardless matter the type of garage, there is a risk (attached,detached or portable)
  • Inside your home or garage, you use an additional heating system, such as a propane heater.
  • A gas generator is installed inside your home or in a detached or attached garage.
  • Following a storm, you start your car with the exhaust pipe obstructed by snow.

Is it true that propane heaters give you a headache?

Propane gas is sold by Fairgrove Oil and Propane to residential, agricultural, and industrial customers. Our goal is to supply our consumers with a clean and safe product. The following is some important safety information concerning propane gas, including its uses and potential hazards.

  • Connect appliances and perform a leak test with the help of a qualified propane service professional.
  • Contact your propane supplier once you’ve gotten away from the spill. If you are unable to contact them, dial 911.
  • Return to the area only if your propane merchant, an emergency responder, or a qualified service professional says it’s safe.
  • Check out your system. Your propane supplier or a competent service expert must inspect your complete system for leaks before you attempt to use any of your gas appliances.

Propane has a rotten egg, skunk, or dead animal odor. Some people may have trouble smelling propane because of their age (older people’s sense of smell may be less sensitive), a medical condition, or the effects of medication, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.

Serious safety risks, such as fire or explosion, may arise as a result. When the propane supply runs out and an appliance valve or a gas line is left open, a leak could occur when the system is recharged with propane. Air and moisture can enter into a depleted or empty storage tank, causing rust to form inside the tank. Rust can reduce the concentration of propane’s odor, making it more difficult to detect. Any pilot lights on your appliances will go off if your propane tank runs out of gas. If not managed appropriately, this can be quite harmful.

Before turning on the gas, several states require a leak inspection of your propane system by a propane store or a licensed service expert.

With your propane retailer, set up a regular delivery schedule. Check the fuel gauge on your propane tank on a regular basis as well. Call your propane retailer if the fuel level falls below 20%.

The smell of propane can also be affected by odor loss. Propane can lose its odor on rare circumstances. This can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Propane odor concentration can be reduced by air, water, or rust in a propane tank or cylinder.
  • If propane is leaking underground, the smell of propane may be reduced by passing through dirt.
  • The odor of propane may adhere to the interior surfaces of gas pipelines and distribution systems, as well as other materials.
  • Because odor loss or issues with your sense of smell are possible, even a slight odor of gas should be responded to immediately.

Consider purchasing one or more propane gas detectors if you or others in your home are concerned about smelling propane.

It’s possible that you won’t smell a gas leak in some cases. If a propane gas detector detects the presence of propane, it will sound an alarm. Their operation is independent of the odorant concentration in the air, only of the propane concentration at the detector. Installing one or more propane gas detectors is something we recommend. This is critical if you or others in your home have trouble detecting propane, or if appliances are located in places of your home where the scent of propane may not be detected. Detectors can provide an extra layer of protection. Quality detectors are essential, so be sure the ones you buy are listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Install and maintain propane gas detectors according to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure they work properly. Even if you install gas detectors, have your propane system and appliances inspected by a competent service expert on a regular basis.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. CO is produced by smoking, idling a gasoline engine, and burning fuel oil, wood, kerosene, natural gas, and propane. When fuels are burned inefficiently, high volumes of CO are created.

Appliances that are malfunctioning, inadequately placed, or maintained can produce high quantities of CO. CO can potentially enter a residence through a clogged appliance venting system or chimney (for example, due to a bird’s nest).

CO poisoning might make you feel dizzy, give you headaches, or give you flu-like symptoms. High quantities of CO or prolonged exposure to CO can cause brain damage or death in extreme circumstances. CO poisoning is especially dangerous for young children, the elderly, persons with heart problems, and those under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, or prescription.

When CO detectors detect high quantities of CO in the air, they will sound an alarm. On each floor of your home, we recommend that you install a UL-listed CO detector. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s installation, location, and maintenance directions. These devices can add an extra layer of protection.

  • Get everyone out of the building and call 911 or your local fire department if you or a family member develops physical symptoms of CO poisoning.
  • Open windows to let fresh air in if it is safe to do so, and turn off any appliances you believe are releasing CO.
  • If you suspect CO poisoning but haven’t noticed any physical signs, contact your propane merchant or a competent service professional to check CO levels and your propane equipment.
  • Annually, have your propane appliances and venting systems inspected by a trained service expert, ideally before the heating season begins.
  • Indoors, always utilize portable heaters that are developed and approved for indoor usage.
  • Never use a propane or charcoal barbeque grill indoors for cooking or heating.

Is it possible to operate a gas heater in a garage that is closed?

Home automotive garages might be the coldest area in your house due to concrete floors, little to no insulation, and drafty doors. On frigid days, keeping your garage warm might be difficult. Because few households have their garages connected to their home heating systems for safety reasons, using a space heater to work on your car or other project while it’s chilly makes the most sense. Propane heat is a cost-effective and safe way to heat your garage without breaking the bank. A shop heater with a rating of 45,000 to 75,000 BTUs per hour can be used in a small garage of 1,000 square feet or less. Larger garages will require a forced-air propane system with a BTU output of 60,000 BTUs per hour or more.

What are two carbon monoxide poisoning warning signs?

Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms aren’t often visible, especially in low-level exposure.

The most typical symptom of mild carbon monoxide poisoning is a tension headache.

Low-level carbon monoxide exposure can cause symptoms that are comparable to food poisoning and the flu.

With extended exposure to carbon monoxide, the symptoms can progressively worsen, causing a delay in diagnosis.

When you’re away from the source of the carbon monoxide, your symptoms may be milder.

If this is the case, you should look into the likelihood of a carbon monoxide leak and have any appliances you suspect are malfunctioning and leaking gas checked by a skilled professional.

Your symptoms will worsen the longer you breath the gas. You may lose your sense of balance, eyesight, and memory, as well as consciousness.

Long-term exposure to low carbon monoxide levels can also cause neurological symptoms like:

  • frequent mood shifts, such as getting quickly angered or depressed, or making rash or foolish judgments
  • a loss of bodily coordination due to underlying brain and nervous system impairment (ataxia)
  • Breathing difficulties and a heart rate of over 100 beats per minute (tachycardia)
  • Muscle spasms are caused by an uncontrollable surge of electrical activity in the brain (seizures)
  • Loss of consciousness – in circumstances when carbon monoxide levels are extremely high, death can happen in minutes.

How long does carbon monoxide poisoning take to develop?

The length of time it takes to get carbon monoxide poisoned is determined by the amount of carbon monoxide in the air, as well as your age, gender, and overall health.

The national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for carbon monoxide is 9 ppm (parts per million) for more than 8 hours, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and this level must not be surpassed more than once a year.

  • Signs of poisoning may appear within 1-2 hours if the carbon monoxide quantity in the air is substantially greater.
  • A high carbon monoxide concentration can kill an exposed person in as little as five minutes.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration in the United States has set a limit of 50 parts per million for healthy workers. If the exposure is extended, even smaller amounts of radiation can have long-term negative consequences on the heart, brain, and nerves. Carbon monoxide poisoning is more common in children, smokers, and persons with heart and lung issues.

Do you need a carbon monoxide detector if you’re using propane to heat your home?

We often talk about what to do if you smell propane gas when it comes to propane safety.

This is due to propane’s unique odor, which has been compared to rotten eggs or sulfur. Propane has no odor on its own. That’s why the propane industry uses an odorant to give it a distinct odor that can be noticed readily.

When You Don’t Smell The Leak

However, there are situations when you won’t be able to smell propane. You could be suffering from a cold, allergies, or another medical issue that interferes with your sense of smell. The sense of smell in older adults may be less sensitive. Medications, alcohol, tobacco use, and other medications can all impair your sense of smell.

Additionally, water or corrosion inside the propane tank might cause propane to lose its odor on rare occasions.

Despite the fact that propane has an excellent safety record because to high industry standards and stringent government restrictions, we strongly advise our propane delivery customers to install propane gas detectors in their homes for the reasons stated above.

Sensors in propane gas detectors monitor the concentration of propane gas in the surrounding region. The alert will sound if the gas concentration reaches a dangerous level. This aids in the prevention of fires and explosions in your home.

Where To Put A Propane Detector

Propane gas detectors are inexpensive and may be found in home improvement stores or on the internet.

Install propane detectors near your propane appliances, such as in the basement near your propane water heater or furnace, in the kitchen near your range, or near your propane fireplace. Propane detectors should also be installed in rooms where space heaters are used, as well as outside all sleeping spaces.

Because propane is heavier than air, set your propane detectors no higher than your bed pillows, if not lower.

Can my carbon monoxide detector detect propane?

Carbon monoxide detectors are required equipment in each home, whether or not propane is used.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can be fatal. Carbon monoxide replaces oxygen in red blood cells as it builds up in the bloodstream. This means that important organs such as your brain, heart, and lungs aren’t getting enough oxygen to function properly. CO poisoning can be fatal or cause significant injury when people are sleeping or under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.

CO detectors should be installed on every floor of your home, as well as outside all sleeping quarters.

However, most carbon monoxide detectors will miss the presence of propane in your home. As a result, you’ll also require propane detectors.

Why is it that the heater makes me feel sick?

Many households are turning on their home heaters for the first time this winter as the temperatures plummet. You might be perplexed as to why you wake up sluggish and with a headache after turning on your thermostat. Is it true that your heater is causing you to become ill?

“Dust, pollen, and other indoor allergens may induce sinus congestion when you turn on your heater for the first time,” explains Dr. Anuja Vyas, a board-certified pulmonary disease expert with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group. “You may feel ill as a result of these symptoms.”

Dr. Vyas adds that it’s a good idea to check and clean or replace your filters because unclean or moldy filters can aggravate asthma and allergies. She says that this can increase sinus headaches.

“You may also hear that when you switch on the heating for the first time in your home, you should open your doors and windows,” adds Dr. Vyas. “However, as long as the filters are clean, this isn’t necessary.”

Heaters reduce the area’s relative humidity, which is linked to dry skin, noses, and eyes. A heater can have a similar impact on persons whose asthma is aggravated by dry air. A humidifier can help alleviate these problems, but it must be cleaned and maintained properly to minimize exposure to hazardous bacteria and fungi that can aggravate asthma and allergies.

“Another approach is to keep a bowl of water handy to help with the dryness,” she suggests.

One technique to manage dry sinuses caused by turning on your heater is to keep your nasal passages moisturized. These sensations can also be relieved by applying a hypoallergenic lotion to your nose or using a saline nasal spray.

While heaters give much-needed warmth during the harsh winter months, be sure the space is well aired. “If you have signs of dryness, you should avoid warming the room and use a well maintained humidifier,” Dr. Vyas advises.

“During the dry winter months, it’s also crucial to stay hydrated by drinking enough of water,” adds Dr. Vyas.