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Why Carbon Monoxide Detectors are Important


Why Carbon Monoxide Detectors are Important
Despite Fresno’s mild climate, furnaces and fireplaces still enjoy popularity here. In a home with these or any other fuel-burning appliances, a carbon monoxide detector could save a life someday.

CO Leaks: An Ever-Present Threat

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas produced by appliances that burn a fuel such as natural gas, propane or wood. This includes cooking ranges, water heaters, fireplaces and generators. Normally, this gas is vented outdoors, but when an appliance malfunctions, the gas can leak into your home. Low-level carbon monoxide exposure causes headaches and dizziness. Large amounts and longer exposure can cause nausea, weakness, and eventual loss of consciousness and death.

Because CO is colorless and odorless, the only way to know it’s present before you get sick is with a carbon monoxide detector. If a leak happens while you’re asleep, a CO detector’s alarm can wake you, giving you time to safely leave the house.

A detector also alerts you to trace amounts of CO, such as those caused by a poorly-adjusted cooking range. You’ll be able to solve the problem quickly instead of suffering unexplained headaches for weeks.

Help Your Detector Do its Job

A CO detector should be installed on every floor of the house and within 15 feet of every sleeping area. Keep them 15 to 20 feet clear of fuel-burning appliances and humid areas, such as the bathroom and avoid covering them with curtains or furniture.

To make sure your detector is in good shape, test the device once a month by pressing the test button. If the detector doesn’t respond, remove and replace the power source, then test again. If it still doesn’t work, replace it. Most detectors last only around five to seven years. Change the batteries and vacuum dust buildup twice a year.

For help maintaining your carbon monoxide detector or your fuel-burning appliances, contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning anywhere around Fresno.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “TerryM/Shutterstock”