How to Check if Your CO Sensors Are Working

How to Check if Your CO Sensors Are Working

Carbon monoxide detectors can save your life

Your home’s carbon monoxide sensors hold great importance, especially during the winter. Around 25,000 Americans suffer from CO poisoning in an average year, according to Forbes. This odorless gas kills thousands of people every decade. Although CO poses a serious danger, you can’t perceive it without using an alarm.

Sources of Carbon Monoxide

A wide range of machines can leak harmful amounts of carbon monoxide if they malfunction or people use them carelessly. For example, this could happen when a vehicle idles in an attached garage. Faulty heating equipment (gas furnaces, gas logs etc) or cooking equipment (such as gas ranges, ovens, broilers or gas grills) may also cause CO poisoning if it burns wood or any kind of fuel. Outdoor fumes from nearby sources have the potential to enter your home as well.

Testing your CO Sensor

If you own and use a CO sensor, you’ve taken an important step to protect your health. However, it’s also important to test this device regularly. Why? Equipment can wear out, batteries expire and a few alarms contain manufacturing defects. Rodents may disable built-in detectors by chewing on wires. Please follow these steps to check your alarm:

  1. Push the button marked “test.” You’ll hear a siren; some models also play spoken warnings. This process confirms that the battery or electrical wiring works properly, but it won’t help you assess the sensor’s ability to detect CO.
  2. To test your alarm more thoroughly, buy a detector testing kit. Various hardware, home improvement and department stores sell this product. Follow the instructions to determine if your sensor works correctly. These kits come with enough carbon monoxide to activate the siren on any functional alarm.
  3. If your detector has a digital display, use incense to test it. The sensor should begin to indicate higher levels of CO when you hold burning incense less than nine inches away. This test ought to change the reading on the alarm’s screen, but it probably won’t trigger the siren.
  4. Remember to retest your CO detector from time to time. At least one major manufacturer urges customers to perform tests every week. On the other hand, some insurers and government agencies recommend monthly testing. Don’t forget to check the alarm before you start using your heating equipment in the winter.

Proper Placement of Carbon Monoxide Detector

In addition to testing, ensure that you’ve installed carbon monoxide detectors in suitable places. Put an alarm at least 11 feet away from a potential source of CO, such as an oil furnace or gas water heater. Install detectors on every level as well.

If the alarm reveals a problem with your heating equipment, Allen Kelly & Company can help. We repair and replace a wide range of HVAC systems in the Raleigh area. Our firm possesses 30 years of experience, and the Better Business Bureau has awarded it an A+ grade. Please contact Allen Kelly to learn more.

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