Carbon monoxide (CO) is a dangerous gas, so in order to avoid serious health problems, it's critical to be prepared for situations that require a fast response. CO is a gas produced by combustion appliances, such as gas ovens, fireplaces and cars. It's not possible for a homeowner to track CO levels without a carbon-monoxide detector, because it's scentless and not visible to the naked eye. That’s why carbon-monoxide detectors are so important.Carbon-monoxide exposure is dangerous at both high levels of quick exposure and low levels of prolonged exposure. At low levels (200 parts per million, or PPM), headaches and nausea occur within two hours. At 400 PPM, exposure becomes life-threatening within a mere three hours. At 800 PPM, death can occur within two hours. A carbon-monoxide detector can mean the difference between life and death, particularly if the carbon monoxide is released while people are asleep.Carbon-monoxide detectors use technology to gauge the carbon-monoxide levels in a home’s air. There are various types of sensors; look for models approved by the Underwriters Laboratory, marked with a "UL" symbol to indicate that the product meets their safety guidelines. For under $100, you can generally get a good carbon-monoxide detector with several features. Consider those models that feature a carbon-monoxide measure: Because even low levels of prolonged exposure can cause serious problems, you might want a detector with a carbon-monoxide level read-out. These typically cost more, but give you much better peace of mind and lower level alarming.The type of power source is another issue to consider, because both battery-powered and hard-wired models have their advantages:
Battery-operated units can be installed almost anywhere, but they require more maintenance because you have to change the batteries regularly.
Hard-wired models are maintenance-free and last up to ten years. However, to install them you’ll need to locate electrical access.
It’s crucial to install carbon-monoxide detectors where they’ll work to your advantage. Install one near the bedrooms, so you can hear the alarm go off even if you're sleeping. If you have a multi-level home, install a detector on each floor. Additionally, to avoid false alarms, don’t install them near combustible appliances (such as the stove) or humid areas (a bathroom).Stay safe with carbon-monoxide detectors. And remember, it's not just the winter time that CO can be a threat!! It’s a small cost for a big payback: your life. The professionals at Air Assurance are available to help with your carbon-monoxide detector needs. Call us anytime with your questions.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.