The Basics of a Carbon Monoxide Detector

It’s no secret that carbon monoxide (CO) is one of the biggest threats to your health in your home. While you can reduce or prevent CO from forming by being responsible with your fuel-burning equipment use and keeping up-to-date on maintenance, there’s always a chance of CO seeping into your home. Since CO is both colorless and odorless, the best defense against CO is a carbon monoxide detector.

How a Carbon Monoxide Detector Works

The Basics of a Carbon Monoxide DetectorA CO detector typically looks similar to a smoke detector. It functions similarly as well, but instead of alerting you to smoke, it alerts you to CO. There are a few different types of detectors, but they all monitor the levels of CO in their immediate surroundings. If the level rises above a certain point, the alarm goes off to signal for you to evacuate the home and call the fire department.

Detector Best Practices

It’s recommended to install at least one unit per floor. Try to install it in an open, central space, like a hallway, near bedrooms. If you hide it away in a closet it won’t do much good.

You can either get a battery-powered unit or have one hardwired into your home’s electrical system. To get the most protection, get detectors hardwired in that also have a battery backup. If you have a particularly large home and feel overwhelmed by all the detectors in your home, consider dual alarms that are both smoke and CO detectors.

Just like a smoke alarm, you should test your CO detectors regularly. It is important that they are always in working order; test at least twice per year.  CO detectors have a limited life.  Be sure to know how long your CO detector is designed to last.

If you need professional help preparing your Amarillo home against CO, contact the experts at Amarillo Air Conditioning.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Amarillo, Texas 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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