Benefits of Installing a Carbon Monoxide Detector

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Benefits of Installing a Carbon Monoxide Detector

As children, we were taught the importance of having a working smoke detector in the house. It was a central theme in most schools’ fire safety classes. And while the importance of having a smoke detector in the home is undeniable, if you have gas appliances, you should also invest in a carbon monoxide detector.

A cautionary tale

A few years ago, one of our clients recalled an experience his daughter had while she was away at college. There had been a problem with the furnace, he said, but when his daughter called the landlord, he didn’t call a HVAC repairman.  Instead, he sent out his handyman.

Although his daughter isn’t sure what the man did to the furnace, whatever he did, disrupted the ventilation system. As a result, every time they used the heat, carbon monoxide leaked into the apartment.

Within a few days, she and her roommate were lethargic and had brain fog. When she called our client to say she thought she was coming down with the flu, he remembered they’d been having issues with the furnace. He suggested they leave the apartment – and proceeded to call the gas company.

When they arrived, they confirmed ill-repaired furnace sprung a massive carbon monoxide leak. Had the landlord installed a carbon monoxide detector, the problem could have been detected immediately.

The basics

Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased in store or online. Although the cheapest models start around $15, more sophisticated units run $100 or more. There are also hybrid smoke detector / carbon monoxide detectors. Regardless as to what you install, make sure it operates on both electrical and battery power. Why? Because if it’s plugged into the wall and the power goes out, it can still run on the battery.

When you install it, place it close to your largest gas appliance.  (Someplace close to the furnace is often a good bet.) Installing it in the living room, next to a window that’s always kept open, it not the best option in terms of efficacy.

In closing

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that’s not only poisonous, in some cases, it can be deadly. For more information on the benefits of installing a carbon monoxide detector, or to learn more about various brands and models, either contact a HVAC repair company or speak to someone at your local hardware store.

Do you currently have a carbon monoxide detector? Do you like the brand / model you have? If so, tell us about it in the comments.