Carbon monoxide poisoning from blocked pipes and chimneys

BISMARCK, N.D. - Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can cause dizziness and breathing difficulty.

During the winter months, doctors see the highest amount of carbon monoxide-related deaths because of snow around chimneys.

According to ready.gov, 430 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning every year. There are also more than 20,000 visits to emergency rooms.

With winter storms like the one we had this week, it's important to remember to remove built up snow so it doesn't block your pipes and chimney.

Bismarck resident Chance Rusch says he clears the snow away after every storm.

"If we don't do that, we don't get any warm water or any easy flowing heat in there. So if we don't clear the pipes away from the snow then we're basically in a cold box," Rusch said.

H.A. Thompson and Sons says technicians should check your furnace every year before winter weather begins.

"Technicians will check to make sure that the gas pressures are proper, the burners are burning properly, and all the safety's on the furnaces are working properly as well," says Brian Miller, Residential Sales Manager.

Miller recommends you change furnace filters frequently and says that anytime big winter storm events occur, make it part of your to-do list to check pipes and chimneys.