Fall is here, and soon we will be switching on our furnaces to get us through the cold winter months. There’s no time like the present to start preparing for using your furnace. In addition to scheduling your heating system’s annual preventive maintenance, checking your CO (carbon monoxide) detectors should be at the top of your to-do list. Taking the time to make sure that your CO detectors are well placed and in working order is a simple task that will help ensure the safety of your family this winter.
Getting the most out of your CO detectors
Before anything else, make sure that your home is actually equipped with CO detectors. Some homeowners incorrectly assume that their smoke and CO detectors are one in the same. While dual models are available, double check to make sure that your house has adequate coverage.
Ideally, a CO detector should be installed on each level of your home — but especially in an area where all sleeping members of your household can readily hear an alarm. You may also consider placing a detector in the same general area as CO-producing devices ( i.e., your furnace, gas dryers, gas stoves, etc.) Keep in mind, however, that CO detectors should not be placed within five feet of CO-producing devices as they may emit harmless trace amounts of carbon monoxide and trigger false alarms. The detectors should be placed high on your wall (near the ceiling), as CO shares the same specific gravity (weight) as air and will therefore rise with circulating heat.
It’s equally important to regularly check detectors for functionality. You’ll need to press the test button in order to ensure that the battery life is still good. It is a good practice to check both your CO and smoke detectors during the time change each spring and fall. This is the easiest way to remind you to protect your household.
For more expert advice on CO detectors, contact the professionals at Ernst Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving the Metro-East area since 1951.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about co detectors and other HVAC topics, visit our blog.