Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Do you have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your house? Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that is in many ways more dangerous than fire, mainly because it can’t be detected by any of your senses – only with a carbon monoxide detector. And as gas furnaces and heating implements get more efficient (and therefore more common in homes), the risk of possible carbon monoxide exposure increases significantly.

Simply put, if you have a gas burning furnace or heating system, you need to pair it with a carbon monoxide detector. To find out about how to install a carbon monoxide detector in your Kansas City home, call Top Notch Heating & Cooling today!

What kind of carbon monoxide detectors should I install?

There are three main types of carbon monoxide detectors available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages:

  • Electrolytic sensor carbon monoxide detectors – electrolytic sensor carbon monoxide detectors use electrochemical sensors to detect levels of carbon monoxide in your home. These extremely sensitive carbon monoxide alarms can detect even low levels of carbon monoxide and provide the most effective protection against CO. They have the highest upfront costs, but the protection they provide is incomparable.
  • Colorimetric sensor carbon monoxide detectors – colorimetric sensor carbon monoxide detectors use a strip of special color changing paper to detect levels of carbon monoxide in your home. When a colorimetric carbon monoxide detector alarms, it won’t turn off until the colored strip returns to normal –sometimes up to 48 hours later.
  • Metal oxide carbon monoxide detectors – metal oxide carbon monoxide detectors actually heat up in the presence of many poisonous gasses, including carbon monoxide. They are a popular choice for many people because they can detect a variety of poisonous gasses present in the air, such as bleach and silicones, in addition to carbon monoxide.

When you install your carbon monoxide monitor, it helps to think about how you want to power it:

  • Battery operated carbon monoxide detectors are very easy to install and will provide protection even during a power outage. As long as you keep on top of battery replacements you will not have a problem.
  • Hard wired carbon monoxide detectors are connected to your home’s electrical system and run constantly. These will need to be installed professionally, but once they’re in you won’t have to think about them again.
  • Many people choose carbon monoxide detectors that are hard wired with battery backups. These also need to be professionally installed, but they have the added advantage of working well during a power outage.

Where should you install a carbon monoxide detector?

If you have a gas furnace or heating system, it is highly recommended that you install at least one carbon monoxide detector in your home. If you want even more protection, install one near every sleeping area and one above the garage (carbon monoxide can leak out of your car’s exhaust). For best results, make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are at least 15 ft away from any fuel burning appliances – this will reduce the risk of false alarms.

Special Features of Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Many carbon monoxide detectors come with a variety of special features that make them even more useful. When choosing a carbon monoxide detector, you can choose from:

  • Power indicator lights – lights that blink under normal conditions (when the alarm is not going off) to show that the system is on and working properly.
  • Low battery signal – many carbon monoxide detectors will emit an alarm or a chirping noise that will alert you when it’s time to replace the batteries. Usually it’s annoying enough that you’ll want to change them right away!
  • Battery drawer – many battery operated carbon monoxide detectors include a battery drawer that makes battery replacement much easier.
  • Test / Silence button – this useful feature allows you to test your carbon monoxide detector at the touch of a button. It also allows you to silence the device in the event of a false alarm.
  • Visual Alarms – while most carbon monoxide detectors use audible signals, there are carbon monoxide detectors for the hearing impaired that include flashing lights in their alarm.
  • Combination smoke alarm / carbon monoxide detector – combination smoke alarm / carbon monoxide detectors save space by combining the two main alarms you need in your house. This also means you only have to change one set of batteries instead of two.

Installing a carbon monoxide detector in your Kansas City home is the only way to protect your family from the danger of carbon monoxide. If you want to install a carbon monoxide detector, call Top Notch Heating &Cooling today!

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