How to Check and Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detector
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How to Check and Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detector


Along with your smoke detector, your carbon monoxide detector may be the most important safety device in your home. Now that it’s time for fall seasonal maintenance on your HVAC system, it’s also time to check your carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they will continue working throughout the year. Here’s why this is important.

The Risks of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous gas that is released as a byproduct of combustion. This means that anything that is flammable, such as natural gas in your furnace, will release carbon monoxide when it burns.

Most of the time, the CO gas is safely vented to the outdoors by your heating system, but problems with the ventilation equipment or issues such as cracked heat exchangers can allow carbon monoxide to escape into your home.

Carbon monoxide detectors are necessary because CO is invisible to human senses: it is odorless, colorless and tasteless. A person can be exposed to dangerous or even fatal amounts of carbon monoxide without even knowing the gas is present. For this reason, it is essential to have a functional carbon monoxide detector in your Oregon home.

Checking and Testing Your Carbon Monoxide Detector

  • Give your CO detector a visual inspection to make sure it is clean, not obviously damaged and has not come loose from its mounting.
  • Install fresh new batteries in the detector, even if the current batteries are still working. This will prevent a battery failure during the colder months when the CO detector may be needed the most.
  • Test the unit by pressing the “test” button on the outside of the case. This button is usually on the face of the detector. The device’s alarm should sound a few seconds after the button is pressed. Replace any detectors that fail this test.

Roth Heating & Cooling is a premier provider of HVAC sales, maintenance, and service in the Oregon communities of Portland, Canby, and Hillsboro. Contact us today for more information on checking and testing your carbon monoxide detector and keeping this important safety device working properly.

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