Carbon monoxide (CO) is a natural by-product of any combustion device, including your furnace, gas stove and water heater. If the appliances in your Orlando area home are not operating correctly or have poor venting, CO levels can become dangerous very quickly. A carbon monoxide detector is an easy way to protect your family from harm, when it’s installed in an appropriate location.
Carbon Monoxide Dangers
CO is hard to detect because it has no odor, color or taste. In high enough concentrations, it can make you feel like you have the common flu, with headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue and shortness of breath, with symptoms worsening until you lose consciousness. If you are not removed from the location and treated, exposure can be fatal.
Single Detector Installation
If you are using a single carbon monoxide detector, it should be placed in a central location near the bedrooms of the home and away from sources of combustion, such as a gas water heater. It also should not be placed near moisture-prone areas like a bathroom or kitchen. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for placement height and other installation details.
As inexpensive as CO detectors are now, it makes sense to use multiple detectors for increased safety. Put one carbon monoxide detector on each floor of the home and/or near each sleeping area. If you have a basement containing your furnace or water heater, place a detector near the top of the basement stairs. If you have an attached garage, install a CO detector near the door to the garage.
Usage and Maintenance
Check the batteries in battery-operated units at least twice a year and consider using electric models with battery backups for greater protection. CO detectors have limited lifespans from two to six years, so replace them as necessary according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Finally, if an alarm does sound, exit the building immediately, seek medical treatment if you don’t feel well, and have the problem diagnosed and repaired before returning.
To ensure that your appliances are not producing excessive amounts of CO, have them serviced by our professional technicians at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. We serve Orlando and Central Florida.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas 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.
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