Carbon monoxide detectors often go unnoticed. Similar to smoke detectors, they’re always working, but homeowners scarcely interact with them. However, carbon monoxide is tasteless, odorless, and colorless, so our chance of identifying it on our own is virtually non-existent.
Where Does Carbon Monoxide Come From?
Most of the time, carbon monoxide comes from a lack of oxygen during the combustion process. This means that anytime anything is burning and there is a lack of ventilation, there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Because of this, all fuel-burning appliances and venting systems should be inspected annually.
Most Detectors are Ineffective
It may be hard to believe, but most CO detectors don’t go off early enough because they are high level CO detectors. The alarm on these devices will sound, but not until the carbon monoxide level in the area is at a very unsafe level. At Blue Ox, we recommend to you invest in a low-level CO detector. This way, your alarm will go off at 40-50 ppm, before the trouble starts.
Testing Your Carbon Monoxide Detector
Contrary to popular understanding, the “test” button on the CO detector just ensures that the device is drawing electrical power. To test the actual detecting capability, test it with a low-polluting substance that would change the carbon monoxide content of the air. For instance, holding incense or a cigarette close to your detector should change the displayed parts per million measurement, even if it the levels are not high enough for the alarm to sound.
Never ignore your carbon monoxide alarm. Unlike a smoke detector that may go off in the instance of a cooking mistake, carbon monoxide detection can be dangerous, and even life threatening. Get yourself and your family outside and call 911.
Blue Ox Heating & Air is a full-service residential heating and air conditioning company that also specializes in air quality products and services. Blue Ox is fully licensed, bonded, and insured to provide our Minneapolis customers with services relating to furnaces, heating, and air conditioning. Our cumulative years of experience approach over 200 years of work in the HVAC industry. For more information on Blue Ox Heating & Air, visit our website at http://www.gobblueox.com/.