It’s impossible to detect poisonous carbon monoxide gas on your own because you can’t see it or smell it. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reports an average of 170 deaths every year are attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning. As a key part of your home safety plan, a carbon monoxide detector can stand guard around the clock to alert you to this deadly home invader.
Devices that produce carbon monoxide gas include:
- Gas water heaters
- Fuel-fired heaters
- Gas clothes dryers
- Automobiles (Note: If you keep your vehicle in an attached garage, you should never leave your car running in the garage, even if you open the doors. Carbon monoxide fumes can penetrate through wall and ceiling cracks and permeate living spaces.)
Exposure to carbon monoxide causes reactions including headaches, dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath and sometimes death. Installing carbon monoxide detectors can not only save your life, but also help improve the indoor air quality of your home and keep you healthy.
For maximum effectiveness, proper placement of detectors is key. Consider placing one carbon monoxide detector on each floor in your home (including the basement), within 10 feet of each bedroom door, and one in the garage.
If you have carbon monoxide detectors that are more than 2 years old in your home, you’ll want to check their lifespan dates. Older detectors were only effective for 2 years, but newer models have increased lifespans of 5 to 6 years.
An experienced contractor can advise you on different types and models of detectors so you can make an informed decision. Although all detectors have audible alarms, you may wish to purchase those that also have a digital read-out of actual carbon monoxide levels. It’s important to note that smoke detectors do not alert you to carbon monoxide levels, and vice versa, but you’ll need separate units to ensure protection against both threats.
If you have more questions about carbon monoxide detectors, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We’ve proudly served northwest Arkansas homeowners for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas 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.
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