Is Your House Haunted?

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Real Estate

You’ve bought a new house – new to you, anyway. It’s a big rambling country estate with many rooms and three floors. It’s your dream house. You and your family move in and it’s paradise – for three days. But then, unexplained things begin happening.

First, you and your family become depressed, listless, without energy, and none of you can explain why. The whole family begins to report strange sounds coming from the attic and the basement – clanking, footsteps, even sighing and shrieking. Every time you go to the area from which the sounds emanate, no one is there.

Then the nighttime visitations begin. Your children come to your room at night, demanding to know why you called them – when you didn’t. One night, coming out of a deep sleep, you find two people you’ve never seen before standing at the foot of your bed.

The final straw comes when you wake in the night and find a strange man sitting on your chest, and you’re paralyzed, unable to move or even scream.

The house is obviously haunted. So what do you do? You call in a paranormal expert, of course. During the next weeks, the expert suggests many ideas, but none seem to work. Until one day, your brother-in-law comes for a visit and you tell him about the noises.

“Are you all having headaches? Are you depressed? Do you wake up paralyzed?”

You’re stunned – your brother-in-law is no paranormal expert. He happens to be an HVAC man. “It’s not ghosts,” he says. “You’re being slowly poisoned by carbon monoxide.”

He checks your furnace, and sure enough, a slow leak has been filling the house with the gas. He replaces your furnace, and all the symptoms your family had been experiencing vanish overnight.

The moral of our story? Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home! Follow these tips to keep you and your family safe.

-- Clean and inspect your home heating system, chimney and flue by a qualified technician each year. Keep chimneys clear of debris and residue to ensure proper ventilation.

-- Have your furnace, gas oven, range and cook top inspected for adequate ventilation yearly.

-- Never burn charcoal inside your house. Hire an inspector to come out give your gas fireplace the once-over to ensure the pilot light burns safely.

-- Don’t operate gasoline-powered engines in your garage or basement. Never leave your car, mower or other vehicle running in an attached garage, even with the door open.

-- Do not block or seal shut water heater, range or clothes dryer exhaust flues or ducts.