Get Knowledgable about Indoor Gases Carbon Monoxide (CO) — Carbon monoxide is a dangerous, life-threatening gas that may be fatal, and that can lead to flu-like symptoms over time. You can read more about this dangerous gas on our Carbon Monoxide page. Natural Gas — Natural gas is usually safe, but it can potentially cause a threat if a pilot light is out in a stove, a gas fireplace, or a furnace, or if there is a leak. Thankfully, natural gas does have an odor that is strong, making it easier to notice. The gas itself is not poisonous. The problem is that the gas is heavier than oxygen, and displaces the oxygen we breathe, leading to asphyxiation. It can also accumulate in the basement, and—under the right circumstances—explode. No. Not good. It’s recommended to purchase a natural gas detector. They’re not expensive and easy to operate. If you smell gas, don’t turn lights or appliances on or off, as even a small electrical current could spark an explosion. Leave the area immediately and call your Birmingham natural gas utility. Radon — Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that can only be detected by testing. This radioactive gas comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It’s found in most parts of North America, though some regions have much higher concentrations. Unmitigated radon may cause cancer, and is to blame for 21,000 lung cancer deaths annually. A simple do-it-yourself air test can determine what your radon level is. If levels exceed the recommendations, a radon reduction contractor can assist with a solution. Other Gases and Vapors — Other gases and vapors are released from vehicles in the garage, from tobacco use, from cleaning products, and the more than 300 chemicals used in household furnishings, construction materials, carpeting, flooring, and paints. All these gases may produce odors and gasses that can irritate our respiratory systems, and could aggravate asthma and allergies. Tips — Here are some ways to help control exposure to gasses, fumes and odors: Be sure your home includes proper ventilation. Call us for a free ventilation system analysis. Install a carbon monoxide detector, a natural gas detector, and have someone test the radon levels in your home. Keep interior doors closed that are near the garage, and leave the garage door open at least 5 minutes after a car enters or leaves. If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, extinguish all burning embers before shutting the flue. Let the door remain open to any room that does not have a return vent. Eliminate tobacco smoke in the home. Use non-toxic or organic cleaning products. Call Norrell Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning in Birmingham at 205-267-0023 for a Home Health Report to learn about how we can help protect you and have the highest indoor air quality possible. We offer quality equipment choices, knowledge and expert service—for all makes and models, 24 hours a day.