Filters and humidification systems work with your HVAC system to make sure the air in your home is well-circulated, comfortable and clean. Together, they can handle organic contaminants such as dust, bacteria and mold, which your home is susceptible to. But there is one common poison your system can’t control – carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide detectors are the only way to be sure your family is safe from this unseen killer.
Carbon monoxide, or CO, can kill quickly at high enough levels. Even at lower levels, exposure will cause flu-like symptoms. The problem is that, without a detector, you won’t smell it, see it, or hear its presence. Like smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors alert you visually and audibly, giving you and your family members time to survive.
When the alarm goes off, you will know immediately that it’s time to get to a life-saving source of fresh air, and to contact emergency or HAZMAT authorities for help with mitigating the threat.
Human nature often makes us think “that won’t ever happen to me.” But CO poisoning is not uncommon – it is said to cause the largest number of accidental poisonings in the world. Any incidence of fossil fuel-burning creates CO, and if there is not enough ventilation present, CO levels build quickly.
In Northern Indiana, winter equipment like snow blowers, propane fueled heaters, and vented gas fireplaces are some examples of CO-producing combustion points. They must all be operated with proper ventilation, and all gas furnaces should be seasonally inspected by professionally certified HVAC technicians.
There are basically three ways that carbon monoxide detectors sense levels of CO; by using an absorbing sensor, an electronic sensor, or an electrochemical sensor. Each unit has different maintenance requirements, which your HVAC technician can explain for you. The units sound a long, loud alarm when high levels of CO are detected. For use with hearing-impaired residents, look for a unit that also alarms visually, with flashing light warnings.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home carbon monoxide detectors and other HVAC topics, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.