With the heating season upon us in northeast Ohio, now’s a good time to check your carbon monoxide detector or add a detector if you don’t have one. Because carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is invisible and odorless, the only way to know that you have a build-up in your home is through a detector. CO can cause illness or even death, making one or more properly working CO detectors a smart choice to protect your family.
Carbon monoxide is put out as a by-product of combustion. Furnaces, boilers, gas stoves and gas water heaters are the main items in your home that produce carbon monoxide. If these devices are working properly, the CO gas is vented safely outdoors. However, sometimes break-downs in the machinery or the venting process can allow carbon monoxide to build up to dangerous levels in your home.
If you haven’t yet placed CO detectors in your home, they are easy to install. CO detectors are very similar to smoke detectors. There are battery-operated models as well as models that run on the house’s electricity. Regardless of which model you get, you should install detectors high on the wall (or according to the manufacturer’s directions). If you only have one carbon monoxide detector, place it near the bedrooms so that it can awaken sleepers if CO shows up at night.
Do not install carbon monoxide detectors within 15 feet of fuel-burning appliances as they may emit trace amounts of CO upon ignition, which can trigger a false alarm. Also, avoid installing your carbon monoxide detector in particularly humid rooms such as bathrooms.
To check that your installed CO detector is working properly, look for a “test” button on the detector that will cause the unit to beep or a light to flash if the detector is working. If you have a battery-operated unit, make sure to change out the batteries once a year. Most hardwired detectors have backup batteries, so check those as well.
For more information about checking your carbon monoxide detector or any other HVAC questions, please contact us at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We’ve proudly served the greater Cleveland area for more than 75 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Western Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about carbon monoxide detectors and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!