Cleveland HVAC Blog

Carbon Monoxide Detection for Better Indoor Air Quality

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Mon, May 03, 2010 @ 11:31 AM

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a very real threat for many homeowners in the greater Cleveland area.  This colorless, odorless poisonous gas is the result of the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, and can build up in the home as a result of:

  • Improperly vented furnaces and heaters
  • Backdrafting from wood stoves, fireplaces or gasoline-powered generators
  • Automobile exhaust
  • Faulty gas ranges

Healthy levels of CO are below 15ppm.  Between 35-50ppm levels become toxic for the average healthy adult..  The best way to prevent illness or even death from carbon monoxide poisoning is to eliminate sources of CO and monitor its level in your home.  Here at P.K. Wadsworth, we can help you identify and minimize potential sources of CO.  Proper installation of fuel-burning appliances and regular chimney inspections are two steps to take.  The key is to ensure that the CO produced from these sources is properly vented out of the home.

It’s also a good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home.  Generally, there should be one detector on each floor (including the basement), located near bedrooms if possible.  They should not be placed near gas-burning appliances such as the range or furnace, or in humid areas such as bathrooms.  Like any piece of safety equipment, carbon monoxide detectors have a life span, so be sure to replace them about every five or six years.  It is best to mark the installation date and the replacement date on the inside of all monitors.

How do carbon monoxide detectors work to improve indoor air quality?  A CO detector alarm knows about toxic build-up long before you would even suspect it. Detectors are, therefore, the early warning system that tells you that you have a home health issue that needs attention.  One of the ways we help homeowners with CO concerns is to do professional inspections that include:

  • Checking your gas or oil furnace for cracks, corrosion or ignition problems
  • Inspection of ventilation for all fuel-burning equipment and appliances
  • Inspection of chimneys for blockage or holes
  • Checking appliance ignition systems
  • Advice about safe practices regarding use of fuel-burning equipment in the home

As HVAC specialists, we often help our customers identify and fix CO issues so that indoor air is safe and healthy.  Regularly-scheduled maintenance for your fuel-burning equipment also helps catch potential problems before they become hazardous to your family’s health.  All his staff has combustion analyzers.

Topics: carbon monoxide, carbon monoxide detectors, carbon monoxide poisoning, cleveland area, chimney inspections

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