The State of California has a law that requires carbon monoxide detectors in all residential dwellings that use any kind of combustible fuel or that have attached garages. The law requires a carbon monoxide (CO) detector on all floors of the home. If you haven’t installed yours yet, use this as a guide to choosing and installing CO detectors so they give you the protection you need against carbon monoxide poisoning.
The two basic types of CO detectors are those that are hard-wired and those that run on batteries. A hard-wired detector can show periodic readings of the CO levels in your home, and if you’re running an older gas furnace, you can check the levels to monitor its performance. If CO is detectable on a routine basis, you’ll know when to call an HVAC expert to find and solve the problem.
Battery-operated CO detectors, along with hard-wired units, should bear the UL-listed seal. Some portable CO detectors can be plugged into electrical outlets, although you’ll need an outlet that’s higher on the wall for maximum protection.
CO detectors use more energy than smoke detectors, and when your home is tightly closed in the winter, you’ll want to know that the detectors are working properly. Plug-in and hard-wired CO detectors often have battery-backup, and it’s important to verify that their batteries will work during a power outage.
All carbon monoxide detectors should be placed at eye-level or higher. CO is slightly lighter than oxygen, so placing it higher on the wall is a good idea, although not so high that it’s an inconvenience to check the batteries monthly. The detectors need to be at least 15 feet away from any fuel-burning device, including the connecting garage door for your home. Place the first one you purchase in the hall leading to the master bedroom. Keep detectors away from kitchens and bathrooms, since humidity interferes with their operation.
If you would like to learn more about your safety and using carbon monoxide detectors, please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We’ve provided superior HVAC services for the Fresno area since 1970.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area 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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