A carbon monoxide detector is your only defense against a buildup of this lethal gas. Carbon monoxide (CO) has no taste or odor, is invisible, and is a life-threatening hazard in homes that use any combustion appliance or has an attached garage.
CO detectors need to be placed:
- Near the bedrooms. If you only have one detector, make sure it’s placed in the hallway leading to the master bedroom, or the bedroom you use for sleeping.
- At least five feet from the floor. CO is slightly smaller than oxygen and it will rise and collect at the ceilings. If you have a detector that shows a periodic readout of CO levels, place it at eye level. This kind of carbon monoxide detector is especially useful in homes with aging gas appliances, especially a furnace. You can check the level of CO while or just after the furnace runs.
If the level increases, contact your HVAC contractor immediately. The chimney or exhaust vent could be blocked, or it may have a cracked heat exchanger.
- On every level of your home.
- In a place where it’s convenient to check them. Even if the detectors are plugged into an outlet or hard-wired, put them somewhere that’s easy to check their batteries. They use more energy than smoke detectors and need to be tested monthly. Back-up batteries in wired detectors can fail, leaving you vulnerable during a power outage.
- Away from humid areas, like the kitchen and bathrooms.
- At least 15 feet away from appliances that use gas or other combustible fuels, and from the door from the garage to your home.
- Out of sunlight and drafts. Avoid areas where your ductwork will blow air directly on the detector, or near windows you keep open routinely.
Proper placement of a carbon monoxide detector will keep you safe from this deadly gas. If you’d like more information about preventing CO gas exposure from your furnace or water heater, contact Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, proudly serving homeowners in the greater Cleveland area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues. For more information about CO detectors and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or give us a call at 440-345-8795.
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