Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Odorless and colorless, the gas isn’t easily detected without special equipment. If it begins infiltrating your home when those in your household are already asleep, no one will notice until it’s too late.
In 2015 alone, 393 Americans died from carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s vital to get your furnace inspected each year, but there are also simple steps you can take on your own to protect yourself and your family, like installing a carbon monoxide detector.
LIFE-SAVING DIY: HOW TO INSTALL A CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR
Like a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide detector will make a loud noise if it detects the gas in your home. This will alert you even if you are asleep so you and your family can get to safety.
Contact a professional such as Stallion to acquire a recommended low-level carbon monoxide detector.
To install your new detector, you can find video tutorials online or follow the manufacturer’s installation directions. Here are some tips for a typical, wall-mounted, battery-operated detector:
- Choose a good location according to manufacturer’s directions. Do not mount the detector on the ceiling. Instead, choose a spot a short distance down the wall from the ceiling.
- To get a snug fit when you pre-drill holes, select a drill bit slightly smaller than the provided wall anchors.
- Be sure to test the detector each month, change the batteries every six months, and clean with a vacuum each year.
- For safety’s sake, we recommend replacing your carbon monoxide detector every five years.
STOP CARBON MONOXIDE WITH REGULAR FURNACE MAINTENANCE
While a carbon monoxide detector provides a useful warning if levels get too high, it is not a substitute for maintaining your heating system. Most importantly, get your heating system inspected by a licensed heating contractor every year, preferably before the weather turns cold. An inspection can identify weak spots in the system, like faulty valves and seals, so we can fix them before they start to leak.
While you’re at it, schedule an early-fall chimney sweep, too. Creosote and other debris can build up in your chimney and keep harmful gasses from escaping.
When installing a new system or gas appliance, make sure it has a seal of approval from a national testing agency like the Consumer Safety Product Commission. You should always go with a licensed, experienced professional when installing or repairing a gas system or appliance.
As always, if you smell natural gas or suspect there is a high level of carbon monoxide in your home, leave your home immediately and contact your gas company and local fire department first from a safe distance.If you want some peace of mind about carbon monoxide in your Philadelphia home, we’re here to help. Contact Stallion Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning to schedule an inspection for your furnace and natural gas system, and breathe a sigh of relief.