Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are critical pieces of safety equipment that help families become stay safe if their living spaces become contaminated with the deadly gas. Here’s a brief explanation of carbon monoxide and how to test CO detectors.

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is an invisible gas given off as a by-product of combustion. The burning of fuel of any type, from wood to natural gas, can produce carbon monoxide. CO is tasteless, odorless and colorless, which means that humans can be affected by it before they even know it’s present.

Sources of Carbon Monoxide

Fuel-burning furnaces are the most common sources of carbon monoxide in a residential setting. Normally, furnaces are vented to the outdoors to let CO escape the home. Damage or other problems with the ventilation system could let CO escape into your home. The potential for CO exposure isn’t limited to colder periods when the furnace is in operation. Homeowners must be aware of carbon monoxide throughout the year. Carbon monoxide can also be generated by other sources, including gas-burning cook stoves or ovens, charcoal grills, automobiles, lawn mowers, snow blowers, space heaters and gas water heaters.

How to Test CO Detectors

CO detectors should be placed on every floor of your home, as well as outside of bedrooms. Test the detectors monthly by following these steps:
  1. Find and hold down the test button. This will probably be on the front of the CO detector.
  2. Hold the button down for a few seconds until the alarm sounds. This could be a beeping or a shrill screech.
  3. Release the test button.
  4. If the detector didn’t work properly, replace the batteries and test it again. If the detector fails again, replace it immediately.
Test CO detectors to protect your family. Learn more about One Source Heating & Cooling’s other indoor air quality solutions, or contact us at 205-545-9904 to schedule an appointment for your Jefferson area home. Image Provided by Shutterstock.com