The seasons are changing quickly in Cleveland, and that means it's time to start that to-do list for winterizing your home. Make sure you add carbon monoxide monitors to that task list.
Even if you take precautions to minimize carbon monoxide fumes, dangerous gases can build up. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible and odorless poisonous gas that's a by-product that can be produced by fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, fireplaces, gas ranges and water heaters, generators and vehicles. With your home more closed up during the winter, it's more likely for the fumes to reach dangerous levels, especially if appliances are poorly vented or not working properly. Installing good quality CO monitors will protect you and your family from this very real household threat. This is so important that now many municipal codes require the installation of CO monitors when furnaces are replaced.
There are many kinds of carbon monoxide detectors, and you want to be sure you use one that will offer the best protection. Most standard retail detectors are set to alarm if CO levels reach 70 ppm (parts per million) over four hours. Studies show, however, that even low levels of carbon monoxide (as low as 9 to 10 ppm) can cause serious health problems, especially in infants, seniors, those with respiratory problems and pregnant women. Look for a monitor that will detect low levels of carbon monoxide and set off an alarm as those levels rise. Place one in each hallway outside the sleeping areas of your home where they are not obstructed or too near heating vents or sources.
CO monitors should be checked every year and replaced every four years. It is a good idea to mark the replacement date in the monitor when it is first put into service. Checking and replacing the batteries as you do with general smoke alarm care is important, but it doesn't test the reliability of the sensor. You should also conduct a gas test annually to be sure the monitor is functioning properly. Your HVAC professional can assist you with that or offer information on how to test it yourself.
For more information on carbon monoxide monitors and other home comfort issues, contact the experts at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We're proud to serve homeowners in the greater Cleveland area.Follow @PKwadsworth
Paul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for over 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. Paul is the Chairman of COSE's Energy Advisory Council. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.