Carbon monoxide detectors can be your Fresno area home’s greatest material asset. This is because carbon monoxide (CO), produced as a by-product of incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, is an insidious killer. Recognize carbon monoxide’s risks and consider the benefits of installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
Carbon Monoxide: Silent Killer
When a fossil fuel – natural gas, liquid propane, fuel oil, kerosene – is burned, carbon monoxide forms. Ideally, all the fuel is burned and converts into energy, carbon dioxide (with one carbon and two oxygen atoms) and water. This perfect burn never quite happens; carbon monoxide (with only one oxygen atom) results. In a well-maintained and properly vented appliance, however, the CO should be properly exhausted from your home.
Odorless, colorless, tasteless and invisible, carbon monoxide has nearly the same density as normal household air. The only way to detect it in your home is with carbon monoxide detectors.
If your Fresno home has any device that converts a fossil fuel to heat, you have the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning. These are all potential culprits:
- Wood stove or wood pellet stove
- Coal stove
- Kerosene heater
- Gas-fired or (rarely) oil-fired furnace
- Gas- or oil-fired boiler
- Gasoline-powered generator
- Automobile engines (snowmobiles, motorcycles, tractors, lawn equipment, ATVs, cars, trucks) in an attached garage
- Outdoor grill or fireplace
- Propane-fed or charcoal barbecue
- Propane-fed camp stove
- Even a tiny hibachi grill
The outdoor devices should present no risk, so long as they stay outdoors. Carbon monoxide disperses readily, and is only sickening or deadly in high concentrations where the indoor air is not replaced frequently. So running the family car in the attached garage is a bad idea, but so is bringing a camp stove inside when the power is out.
As routinely as you added and service smoke alarms, you should install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. You can do the job yourself or, to completely protect your family, have units professionally installed. The best alarms have important features:
- Hard-wired into your home’s electrical system
- Battery backup – in case of power failure
- Voice warning system – prevents confusion
- Hush activation
For more information about installing carbon monoxide detectors in your Fresno area home, please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning.
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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