When was the last time you tested your carbon monoxide detectors? If you are like many homeowners, the answer may be never. You need to make it a habit to check these detectors regularly. It just may save your life.
The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide, commonly abbreviated as CO, is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is toxic. This gas gets into the home from fuel-burning appliances that aren’t working properly or not vented correctly.
When CO levels in the body reach a certain point, nerve and brain damage sets in. Eventually, CO poisoning can lead to death. In fact, it causes over 150 deaths every year in the United States.
And those deaths were preventable with the use of CO detectors.
How Do You Test a CO Detector?
Follow the manufacturer’s directions for testing the CO detectors in your home. The basic procedure for most detectors goes something like this:
- Locate the test button on the detector.
- Press and hold the test button.
- Listen for the beeping noise that indicates the test was successful.
- Release the button.
If it did not work, change the batteries in the unit and do the test again. If new batteries do not get the unit working properly, replace the entire thing immediately.
Most manufacturers recommend testing your CO detector once a month. It is important to change the batteries in the CO detector twice a year, at the same time you change your smoke detector batteries. Powers recommends that you also keep the manufacturer’s product information in safe place so that you can refer to it when testing. Some CO detectors have a “shelf life” and must be replaced after a period of time regardless of the battery life. Make sure you know of any expiration dates on the detector.
Prevention Is Key
CO detectors are not the only protection you should use against this poisonous gas. You need to take steps to prevent CO in the first place.
- Verify that all your fuel-burning appliances are installed properly.
- Do not do self-service or installation on fuel-burning appliances. Leave it to the professionals.
- Do not use a generator or fuel-burning camping equipment inside the home.
- Do not heat your home with the oven or clothes dryer.
- Annually have a professional contractor perform a maintenance inspection which includes the venting of the fuel-burning appliances like furnaces and hot water heaters.
Protect you and your family by regularly testing your carbon monoxide detectors. For other ways to protect your home’s indoor air quality, contact us here at Powers Heating & Air. We have been serving the local communities of Fayetteville, Tyrone, Peachtree City, Senoia, Sharpsburg, Newnan and Brooks since 1979.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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