Every winter, here in Mid-Ohio, we hear tragic news reports of families overcome by carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. What makes things worse is realizing how easily such a tragedy could have been prevented. For just a few dollars and a few moments to minutes of installation time, lives could have been saved. CO detectors are either battery powered or hard-wired into the household current.
It is important, however, to make sure the CO alarms are placed properly in the home so that they can do their jobs. At minimum, install a detector on each floor of your home, high on a wall near the ceiling. An alarm should be placed just outside each sleeping area. Units should also be installed near, but at least 5 feet away from, major gas-burning appliances like furnaces or water heaters. Detectors should not be installed near the kitchen stove or the bathrooms. Always follow manufacturer instructions for placement.
In addition to installing CO alarms in the correct spots in your home, Weather Safety Ohio recommends checking these possible carbon monoxide dangers in your home:
- Gas stoves
- Gas dryers
- Wood stoves
Your local HVAC contractor can inspect these items on an economical service call:
- Home heating system: Your entire heating system, fuel-fired furnace and/or heat exchanger should be inspected and serviced at least once per year, preferably in Fall, before being put to heavy use.
- Fireplace: Vents should be checked for any blockage, deterioration, loose connections or excessive debris. Chimney flues should be checked for proper functioning and homeowners should be sure they are completely open when fireplaces are being used.
- Gas water heaters must be checked for leaks or pilot light problems.
In addition, be aware that charcoal grills, lawnmowers, snow blowers and automobiles can be a danger when used or even stored in an enclosed space.
Contact the HVAC experts at Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating with any questions about carbon monoxide detectors or if you'd like a professional inspection of your heating system. We're happy to help.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. services the Mid-Ohio area. To get started, check out our website.