Modern HVAC equipment and fuel-burning appliances are usually very safe, but accidents, damage and unexpected malfunctions can lead to the release of dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide (CO) into your living area. Here are five tips to consider when installing a carbon monoxide detector to help keep your family safe from this invisible but deadly gas.
- Remember the nature of carbon monoxide: Carbon monoxide cannot be detected by human senses. It is odorless, colorless and tasteless. Any appliance, vehicle or device that consumes fuel can create carbon monoxide as a byproduct of burning that fuel. This includes furnaces, kitchen stoves, space heaters, snow blowers or cars. Keep in mind that most deaths from carbon monoxide occur when people are exposed to the gas in their sleep.
- Install more than one: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends placing a carbon monoxide detector outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area of your home. You should also put a detector at each end of your home and over any attached garages.
- Don’t install near fuel-burning appliances: Don’t place CO detectors directly above or beside fuel-burning appliances such as kitchen stoves or ovens. These appliances may produce enough carbon monoxide to trigger the detector and cause a false alarm. Keep CO detectors at least 15 feet away from cooking or heating equipment and humid areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
- Combine with smoke alarms: Carbon monoxide detectors are not a substitute for smoke alarms. In combination with smoke alarms, however, CO detectors improve overall home safety and give you better coverage in case of emergencies.
- Have a battery backup: Some CO detectors can be wired directly into your home’s electrical system. If something occurs that knocks out the power to your house, however, a direct-wired carbon monoxide detector won’t work. A battery backup system ensures you will still be protected by this important safety device.
Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is a trusted provider of home heating, cooling and plumbing services to customers in the greater Cleveland area. Contact us today for more information on carbon monoxide safety and installing a carbon monoxide detector.
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!
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