Why Do I Need a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

All homes throughout the Montgomery, AL area need a carbon monoxide detector – do you have one or more? Hans Heating and Air is here to inform about the dangers of CO and why homes need a carbon monoxide detector.

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas produced by burning fuel, like natural gas. It has no smell or color, which makes it virtually undetectable by humans. When carbon monoxide builds up inside a home, it poses serious health risks to occupants. Carbon monoxide poisoning kills more than 400 people across the country each year and injures thousands more.

Carbon monoxide is produced by anything that burns fuel, including gasoline, natural gas, wood, kerosene, and others. When appliances malfunction or are not used in the correct manner, carbon monoxide has the potential to build up indoors. In homes, carbon monoxide buildup often results from:

  • Furnace malfunctions
  • Improper use of gas stoves
  • Unvented fireplaces
  • Use of portable gas heaters inside
  • Use of gas or charcoal grills inside
  • Running vehicles in attached garages

Does My Home Need a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

Because carbon monoxide is basically undetectable by humans, households in Montgomery, AL and across the world need a carbon monoxide detector for safety. Carbon monoxide detectors are battery-powered or hardwired to the home’s electrical system with a battery backup in the event of a power outage. When it detects excess carbon monoxide, the alarm sounds to alert occupants to leave the home.

If your home has a gas furnace, other natural gas appliances, a fireplace, or an attached garage, you need a carbon monoxide detector. Whenever there is gas present, there is a risk of carbon monoxide overexposure.

Where Do I Need a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

It is critical homeowners install carbon monoxide detectors in appropriate locations throughout the home. The basic rules for carbon monoxide detector installation are:

  • One CO detector installed on each level of the home.
  • Install CO detectors at about “knee-level.” This guideline is intended to mimic where a person’s head is during sleep. 
  • Place CO detectors near all sleeping areas so they are heard overnight.
  • Place a CO detector near an attached garage to detect gas that seeps into the home from a running vehicle.
  • Do not place CO detectors close to fuel-burning appliances. Sometimes this causes false readings.
  • Do not install CO detectors in humid areas, direct sunlight, or blowing air sources.
  • If you have a combo smoke and CO detector, install it according to the smoke detector or the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Protect Against CO Leaks with Hans Heating and Air

In good working condition, natural gas furnaces pose very little risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Carbon monoxide produced by combustion of heating fuels safely vents outside the home. 

However, when the furnace’s fuel burning and ventilation processes are disrupted, it is possible for carbon monoxide to back up into the home. Leak sources are also broken components, such as cracked heat exchanger, or from vent blockages.

A furnace maintenance inspection and tune up catches most sources of leaks within a natural gas heating system. Annual service is not only important to improve furnace efficiency and performance, but to ensure safe operation and protect your family.

Schedule your furnace maintenance tune up with Hans Heating and Air today! In addition to furnace service, our technicians also help you determine if you need a carbon monoxide detector and where to place them throughout your Montgomery area home. Contact us today to schedule your appointment for furnace maintenance.

Return back to all blogs

Stay In Touch

Keep up with the latest tips and special deals - 
subscribe to our monthly newsletter.