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How Do I Know If My Carbon Monoxide Detector Is Working?

Your home’s carbon monoxide detector has the potential to save your life and the lives of your loved ones and pets. Yet merely installing a carbon monoxide detector won’t suffice. It’s critically important that you test the alarm to ensure it’s functional.

Why Is Carbon Monoxide Dangerous?

Carbon monoxide is especially dangerous because it can’t be seen, tasted, touched, or heard. Your home’s air could be poisoned by carbon monoxide, and you might not find out until it’s too late. This so-called “silent killer” is a gas that can only be detected with a functional carbon monoxide alarm.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that carbon monoxide poisoning sends around 15,000 people to emergency rooms every year. However, many people poisoned by carbon monoxide don’t notice the symptoms until it’s too late.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include many of those associated with other illnesses, including:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Unconsciousness

Do you know if your carbon monoxide detector is working? Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our indoor air quality experts!

Types of Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide detectors are not all the same. There are four main types of carbon monoxide detectors you could have in your home, including:

  • Metal oxide: This detector monitors CO levels with a wired circuit.
  • Biometric: These systems use color-changing liquids and gels to detect the presence of CO.
  • Electrochemical: Use electrical currents to track CO levels. This detector has the best accuracy and longest life span.
  • Optochemical sensor: Detects carbon monoxide with a color-changing pad but can’t measure the level of gas in the home.

If you’re asking, “Does my carbon monoxide detector still work?” knowing the type of detector you have is important. Each one has a limited and unique life span, with the metal oxide units lasting three years and the biometric units lasting 10.

Call Ehlers Heating & Air Conditioning at (248) 579-2362 for help choosing the right CO detector for your home.

The Importance of a Carbon Monoxide Detector

Installing a carbon monoxide detector is critical. Yet simply installing one near your home’s living room isn’t enough to guard against carbon monoxide poisoning. A carbon monoxide detector should be installed on each floor of the home.

A detector should also be positioned by each bedroom. Install detectors at least 15 feet away from all potential sources of carbon monoxide. This way, the odds of a false alarm will be greatly reduced. Common sources of carbon monoxide include gas ovens, furnaces, boilers, and fireplaces.

Are your carbon monoxide detectors installed properly in your home? Contact our IAQ professionals today!

How To Tell if Your Carbon Monoxide Detector Is Working

It’s imperative that you test your carbon monoxide detector’s functionality monthly. There’s a chance the detector will not chirp at you in the event that the batteries are low. Be proactive by replacing the batteries once every six months.

Ideally, you’ll make the replacement of your carbon monoxide detector’s batteries part of your spring and fall routine when you change the time on your home’s clocks.

Always clean your carbon dust and debris off your detectors. If you pull your detector out of the outlet, be sure to push it back in as deep as possible when returning it to the outlet.

Another component of the detector’s functionality is its volume. Test the detector’s sound to ensure it can be heard from each bedroom in the house. The sound should be loud enough to wake each family member from a deep sleep.

How To Test Your CO Detector

If you’re wondering how you can know if your carbon monoxide detector works, the answer is simple: testing. You should test your CO detector once per month to ensure your family’s safety. The test button is the best way to test it because it will tell if the alarm is still sounding. However, this does not test whether the device is accurately detecting CO.

To test accuracy, you can purchase a test kit that has a canister of CO. This lets you safely expose the alarm to a high level of the dangerous gas, which should trigger an alarm. Keep in mind that CO detectors can take up to 30 minutes to sound an alarm after gas exposure.

If you’re not comfortable with the testing process, contact Ehlers Heating & Air Conditioning.

Our Livonia HVAC technicians can test it for you, giving you peace of mind that your family’s safety is protected.

Indoor Air Quality in Your Livonia Home

Better indoor air means better health, and Ehlers Heating & Air Conditioning has Carrier humidifiers, ventilators, filtration systems, carbon monoxide alarms, and ultraviolet cleaners to optimize your home’s air quality.

Best of all, you’ll always be treated with the honesty and respect you deserve. That’s our promise. It’s how we do business and how we earn your trust. Learn more about why you should choose Ehlers Heating & Air Conditioning.

Contact Ehlers Heating & Air Conditioning when you need indoor air quality and HVAC solutions, including carbon monoxide detectors, in Livonia, MI!

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