It’s important to have carbon monoxide detectors in your home to keep occupants safe from exposure to this deadly gas. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a byproduct of the combustion process, whether it’s from burning fossil fuels, inhaling fumes from vehicles or yard equipment, or from barbecues.
CO replaces oxygen in the bloodstream, and certain levels of exposure to the gas can be fatal. CO has no odor or taste and it’s invisible, which makes it crucial that your home has CO detectors in the right places and that they’re working.
CO weighs slightly less than oxygen and it floats near the ceiling as it accumulates. You’ll have better protection if you place the detectors at eye level or higher. They need to be 10 to 15 feet away from any gas appliance or the door from the garage to the house. The most critical location for the first detector is by the master bedroom but placed away from the humidity of a nearby bathroom.
If you have hard-wired batteries, look for a backup battery and test it periodically. Unless the batteries are fresh, the detectors won’t sound during a power outage. Battery-dependent carbon monoxide detectors should be tested monthly by pushing the test button and listening for a chirp. The detectors last four to five years, and if fresh batteries don’t activate the alarm, you’ll have to replace them.
Selecting New Detectors
- Opt for devices that provide periodic CO level readouts if you have any aging gas appliances to avoid low-level exposure that is harmful for people with respiratory or heart conditions, infants, and pregnant women.
- Use plug-in detectors only if you have outlets at eye-level or higher.
- Choose hard-wired devices that use back-up batteries in lieu of those that rely on electricity only.
While carbon monoxide detectors alert you to dangerous CO levels indoors, avoiding exposure in the first place is key. Contact the experts at CCAC to learn how we can improve home safety by maintaining your furnace. We proudly provide trusted services for Coastal Bend homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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