Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors — Because Heating Season Isn’t That Far Off

Carbon monoxide, commonly abbreviated to CO, is a deadly gas. It’s produced as a byproduct of many kinds of combustion, including common home appliances such as gas-fueled furnaces, water heaters and cooking stoves. For this reason, it’s essential that every home be outfitted with one or more carbon monoxide detectors.

Ordinarily, gas-fueled appliances will be vented harmlessly through flues or pipes that can carry the gas outside; if an appliance is not working properly, however, dangerous concentrations of CO can build up inside the home.Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors -- Because Heating Season Isn't That Far Off

The body’s red blood cells can’t distinguish between oxygen molecules and carbon monoxide. The CO molecules bond with the cells in the same way that oxygen does. Oxygen molecules can’t bond to a cell once a carbon monoxide molecule is in place. This means that the concentrations of oxygen in the blood drop while concentrations of CO rise. Milder effects can be headaches and dizziness; as concentrations increase, brain damage and eventually death will result.

While you can smell smoke if a fire breaks out or natural gas if there’s a leak, you can’t see or smell carbon monoxide. You may not be aware that you’re breathing CO until it’s too late. That’s why carbon monoxide detectors are so important. These detectors can read levels of CO and sound an alarm if they get too high. It’s best to have a CO detector within 10 feet of every room used for sleeping and on each level of the house.

You will eventually need to replace your detector. Older models only had a useful lifespan of around two years, while newer detectors can last for five or six years before becoming unreliable. If you own a CO detector that’s more than five years old, you should replace it with a new one. Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission for more information on carbon monoxide poisoning.

In addition to having working carbon monoxide detectors in your home, make sure your home is ventilated properly, so that hazardous gases such as CO will have less chance of building up to dangerous levels.

To learn more about carbon monoxide detectors and other home comfort and safety issues, please contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Co. We’ve been providing quality HVAC services to the Yuma area since 1952.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about carbon monoxide detectors and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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