Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, invisible gas that can accumulate in dangerous levels in your home and cause illness or even death. A carbon monoxide detector is the best way to keep your home’s occupants safe from CO poisoning. Even after the installation of your CO detector, you should check it regularly to make sure it’s in good working order.
Here’s the lowdown on the hazards of carbon monoxide poisoning, and how you can prevent it by ensuring your CO detector is in good working order.
CO in Your Home
Any appliance in your home that is powered by combustion can give off CO. Gas- or oil-powered furnaces, boilers, kitchen ranges, clothes dryers and water heaters give off CO emissions. Starting your car in an attached garage may also allow carbon monoxide to enter your home, as can operating a lawnmower, gas grill, boat motor or generator too close to the home.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can resemble the flu, so it’s important to have a CO detector in good working condition so that it can sound an alarm if carbon monoxide levels are dangerously high and to blame for certain symptoms.
Testing the CO Detector
CO detectors come in three basic types: battery operated, plug-in and hardwired.
To test the carbon monoxide detector, press the test button and listen for the alarm. If you don’t hear it, change the batteries and test again. If it still doesn’t sound, replace the detector.
For a CO detector with a digital readout, test that it is measuring CO levels by moving a lit incense stick within a few inches of the detector, and note whether the display registers the presence of carbon monoxide. If the level is below 70 parts per million (ppm), the alarm will likely not sound. However, a level of 30 ppm can be harmful to young children and people with respiratory problems.
To learn more about checking the carbon monoxide detector, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions of Orlando. We’ve provided quality service to our customers since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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