Carbon Monoxide and Home Heating Part 3 of 3

Hopefully, you are now more aware of Carbon Monoxide and the effects it can have on you and your family. Being CO aware is very important. We have already went over what CO is and how it can be prevented. Now on our final post, we will go over how it can be detected.


Yes, CO can be detected with CO detectors that meet the requirements of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standard 2034. Since the toxic effect of CO is dependent upon both CO concentration and length of exposure, long-term exposure to a low concentration can produce effects similar to short term exposure to a high concentration. Detectors should measure both high CO concentrations over short periods of time and low CO concentrations over long periods of time - the effects of CO can be cumulative over time. The detectors also sound an alarm before the level of CO in a person's blood would become crippling. CO detectors that meet the UL 2034 standard currently cost between $35 - $80.

Where should the detectors be installed? CO gases distribute evenly and fairly quickly throughout the house; therefore, a CO detector should be installed on the wall or ceiling in sleeping area/s but outside individual bedrooms to alert occupants who are sleeping.

Aren't there safety devices already on some appliances? And if so, why is a CO detector needed?

Vent safety shutoff systems have been required on furnaces and vented heaters since the late 1980s. They protect against blocked or disconnected vents or chimneys. Oxygen depletion sensors (ODS) have also been installed on unvented gas space heaters since the 1980s. ODS protect against the production of CO caused by insufficient oxygen for proper combustion. These devises (ODS and vent safety shutoff systems) are not a substitute for regular professional servicing, and many older, potentially CO-producing appliances may not have such devices. Therefore, a CO detector is still important in any home as another line of defense.

Are there other CO detectors that are less expensive?

There are inexpensive cardboard or plastic detectors that change color and do not sound an alarm and have a limited useful life. They require the occupant to look at the devise to determine if CO is present. CO concentrations can build up rapidly while occupants are asleep, and these devices would not sound an alarm to wake them." © Inspections by Jesse

Remember there is nothing more important them you family and friends. You want to protect them in any and every way possible. Be sure to be safe and protect them with the best detectors out there.


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