Is Your CO Detector Working?

Is your CO detector working to keep your family and home safe?   There is no question that carbon monoxide is deadly but did you know that it is also extremely hard to detect.  

Is Your CO Detector Working?

Carbon monoxide detectors have come a long way in the last 10 years but even top-of-the-line systems need to be routinely monitored by a professional.   Simply pushing the test button every few months is not enough.  The test button’s job is let you know if the batteries still have juice.   It doesn’t mean the system can actually detect carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every 5 years.  In between, here’s what you need to know about your system.

The Importance of a Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide or CO, is an odorless, colorless gas found in the environment. It only becomes dangerous in enclosed spaces such as garages or indoor rooms when high concentrations build up from sources like gas furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, gas stoves or any other device that burns fuel.   

Carbon monoxide detectors

There are three categories for CO detectors.  The systems all work differently but they are all effective – as long as the detector is working properly.

  • Metal oxide
  • Biometric
  • Electrochemical

The detectors are equipped with a few to several different features.  There are combination units that tie-in to smoke detectors.   Some have digital readouts that show CO levels.  Some come with a remote control and they all have a test button. 

How to test your system

Replace batteries every four to six months.  Test the batteries once a month.  During the winter, if heating with gas, it is recommended to test more often. 

To do a self-test for CO detection, you’ll need to purchase a test kit.  Test kits include a canister of CO that’s used to expose the detector to high levels of gas.   When the system is working properly, the siren will sound within minutes to half an hour.   Not all units will sound the alarm immediately like a smoke detector.

Or call a professional, who has years of experience, to test for CO levels safely and efficiently. 

CO detectors should be installed in every home for family safety.   Visit Safe Sound Family for their recommendations on units and placement.   As a minimum, each home should have one CO detector on each floor, one in or just outside each sleeping area, and one in the basement.

If your CO detector is more than five years old, don’t wait to replace it.  For more information or to have a professional team run a check on your carbon monoxide detectors call Bob at Polar Heating and Refrigeration at  (505) 250-2329.