Thought you had to worry about carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning only in winter? Think again, because furnaces are not the only CO-producing equipment typically used in a home. As a result, carbon monoxide detectors are equally important year round, and making sure they are properly installed and operational will help to keep your family protected.
In addition to furnaces, any other equipment that burns fuel should be cause for concern, and that includes:
- Wood-burning stoves
- Water heaters
Most homeowners know that CO is a deadly gas, but it’s even more problematic because it’s hard to detect without a mechanical device, and its symptoms mirror those of the flu.
If you experience any of the following, immediately leave your home and call for help:
- All of your family are sick at the same time.
- Your symptoms lessen to some degree if you leave the house.
- You notice symptoms appear or worsen when a fuel-burning piece of equipment cycles on.
In all seasons, even in summer, it’s important to install carbon monoxide detectors, but they must be located in the right places. If you use battery-operated devices, you’ll need to check and replace batteries often.
For proper protection, experts generally advise that homeowners install a device:
- Close to sleeping areas – If you have multiple sleeping areas, install a detector directly outside the doors to all bedrooms.
- On every floor of your home – If you have a two-story home or a separate add-on space or remodeled attic, centrally install a detector on every floor.
If you want to avoid false readings, there are certain locations you should avoid. Don’t install a detector near your stove, as it will give off minimal CO during start up. And in general, don’t place detectors nearby any equipment that burns fuel. Additionally, install detectors 15 feet away from moisture-production locations, like bathrooms.
Get the best protection possible against deadly CO. In every season, carbon monoxide detectors will help to alert you to dangerous home conditions. For expert advice, contact Air Assurance Heating, Cooling & Air Quality– serving homeowners in the greater Broken Arrow area for more than 30 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about carbon monoxide detectors and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.