When you being running your heating system and close your home against the winter air, the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) exposure increases. You can lessen the threat it poses to your family’s well-being by keeping your furnace professionally maintained. For complete protection though, you also need to know how to check and maintain the carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
Why Checking Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors Matters
Carbon monoxide gas is a byproduct of incomplete combustion of any fossil fuel, so it can be produced by your gas furnace, hot water heater or kitchen range. In small amounts, CO causes flu-like illness. Exposure to a high level of the gas can render a person unconscious and quickly cause death. Since CO has no color, taste or odor, you won’t know you’re at risk unless a carbon monoxide detector sounds a warning alarm.
Advice for Testing and Maintaining Your CO Detectors
Here’s some helpful advice on how to test and maintain well-functioning carbon monoxide detectors in your home:
- Read the manual for each detection device you own and follow any brand-specific guidelines from the manufacturer for proper use and care.
- In general, it’s wise to check the functionality of your detectors monthly by holding down the “test” button for a few seconds. If you don’t hear a beep, put in new batteries and test again. If the device makes no sound, it needs replacement.
- Replace all device batteries twice a year. You might find it easier to remember if you do this when you’re changing the clocks for daylight saving time.
- CO detectors lose the ability to sense the gas after five years of use, so replace all of your devices when they reach that age. So you don’t forget to do so, choose a model with a replacement alert feature.
- If you want plug-in or wired detectors, buy detectors with battery backup so they’ll still function if a power outage
Contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling for more advice about keeping your Portland home protected by checking your carbon monoxide detectors and properly maintaining your heating equipment.