One of the most dangerous substances your family can be exposed to is carbon monoxide poisoning. The only way to be prepared is to be knowledgeable about the substance. The first thing to do is to acquaint yourself to the facts and to know the myths, so they don’t confuse you.
Carbon Monoxide Myths
• You’ll be able to smell carbon monoxide when it is at dangerous levels.
• If nothing is burning in the home, there will be no carbon monoxide.
• Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms just like your smoke alarms.
• If your alarm is constantly going off, these are probably false alarms that you shouldn’t worry about.
• Any sound coming from my carbon monoxide alarm indicates danger and we should evacuate the premises.
• We’ll know if we’re awake when the carbon monoxide levels are dangerously high.
Carbon Monoxide Facts
• It is a tasteless, odorless and colorless gas
• Carbon Monoxide is always in the air, usually at acceptable levels, but the levels can become unacceptable for many reasons.
• Carbon Monoxide Alarms can be installed at floor height or on the ceiling and they should be maintained similarly to smoke alarms.
• Always assume your carbon monoxide alarm is accurate. Spikes in carbon monoxide levels can dissipate quickly causing you to assume it was false alarm after the authorities arrive.
• Carbon Monoxide alarms have to settings: “Alert”, meaning investigate the issue and “Warning”, meaning leave your home immediately.
• Even if you’re awake when the carbon monoxide reaches dangerous levels, you may not be able to tell.
You cannot smell, taste or see carbon monoxide gas; the only symptoms are innocuous flu-like symptoms which most people would simply explain away. Since carbon monoxide is a gas that we are always exposed to at varying levels, it makes it even more difficult to detect. We only have to be concerned when those levels exceed certain limits and that is why a carbon monoxide detector is needed in every home. They can be installed anywhere in the home, on the ceiling or near the floor. The only thing mandatory is that they are maintained, vacuumed and tested monthly, batteries changed twice a year and alarms replaced every 8-10 years. Carbon monoxide alarms are set to sound when the levels have grown over time. This is an indicator that something is very wrong and the occupants in the home should react quickly. To get a better understanding of how your alarms work or to get help with your other HVAC needs, call us, we’re the helpful HVAC experts.