Carbon monoxide poisoning isn’t all that common, but it can happen to anyone so it’s important to protect yourself and your family. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless and toxic gas that is the by-product of fuel combustion. Gas water heaters, automobiles, non-electric furnaces and fireplaces all create carbon monoxide that can leak into your home and affect you and your family’s health and safety. Carbon monoxide detectors are the only way to be sure you are warned of its presence.

The two main types of carbon monoxide detectors are split between whether they operate on your household current or batteries. The kind that plug into your wall usually employ solid-state sensors that re-sample for CO and then purge every few minutes, sounding an alarm if there is a hazardous increase. They also feature a battery backup in case you lose power. Because you often light candles during a blackout and open flames are dangerous when around carbon monoxide, it is important to have continuous protection.

The battery-powered models can be kept in more discreet locations since they don’t have to be plugged directly into the wall. They utilize passive sensors that react to extended exposure to CO. They also feature a separate warning that will sound if the sensor gets damaged or the batteries need replacing.

There are also combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors available. These help you reduce the number of safety devices you need in your home but have to be mounted to the ceiling so that they can effectively detect smoke.

You should have at least one carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your house. Ideally you want to install one near every bedroom in your house and one near each major gas-burning appliance. They should be within 15 feet of the bedroom door so that they can wake you in the event of a carbon monoxide leak in the middle of the night. They should be at least 10 feet away from appliances though so they don’t give false readings.

For more information, contact Wolff Mechanical. Our experts can help you determine which model is best for your home situation, as well as answer any questions you may have regarding your home’s HVAC system.