Carbon monoxide (CO) is often called the silent killer, as it is colourless, tasteless and odourless. At its highest concentration, it can be fatal, killing people in minutes. More commonly, those exposed to low levels experience flu-like symptoms like headaches, dizziness, tiredness, confusion and difficulty breathing, and/or side-effects akin to food-poisoning, such as nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.
According to CORGI HomePlan’s survey of 2000 homeowners in June 2015, 1 in 10 adults in Britain have experienced carbon monoxide poisoning to some degree in their home, and NHS Choices reports that 200 people go to hospital with suspected CO poisoning per annum, highlighting the scale of the problem.
All types of combustible fuel appliances whether old or new, including fireplaces and wood burning stoves, as well as oil-fired and LPG boilers, can potentially leak carbon monoxide. Ground source heat pumps are electrically-driven devices with no combustion, so there is no risk of this deadly gas being emitted.
In fact, ground source heat pumps produce no point of use emissions of any pollution: carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO₂), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulphur Oxides (SOx) or particulates, therefore helping to reduce air pollution and ultimately climate change.
Find out more about the environmental and health benefits of ground source heat pumps compared to carbon burning heating systems, here.