Are Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Working Order?
It won’t be long before you need to start up the furnace to keep your home warm and comfortable. Before you do, it’s vital to schedule professional furnace maintenance so you know it’s operating safely, then check each carbon monoxide detector in your home to make sure it’s working properly.
Functional Carbon Monoxide Detectors Ensure Your Safety
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a lethal gas produced by all fuel-burning heating systems and appliances. Since you can’t smell, taste or see it, hearing the warning alarm on a carbon monoxide detector is the only way you’ll know that you’re at risk of CO poisoning. To ensure that the alarm sounds when CO levels rise to dangerous levels in your home, you need to test all of your carbon monoxide detectors regularly.
How to Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It’s best to check the owner’s manual for recommendations on exactly how and when to test your specific detection device, but here’s a general guide on what to do:
- Find the “test” button on each detector, press it down and hold it for several seconds. If the detector is working, you should hear a beep sound.
- If you don’t hear a beep, put fresh batteries in the device and test it again. If it still doesn’t make a sound, put that detector aside for replacement.
- Plan to replace the batteries in each detector every six months. To remember to do so, make the switch when you’re adjusting your clocks for daylight saving time.
- CO detector reliability declines with age, so plan to replace yours every five years. To make it easier to remember when the next replacement is due, choose a model that has a built-in alert. If you buy a plug-in unit, make sure it has battery backup so it can still protect you when there’s a power outage.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.