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Test For Carbon Monoxide, It's A Breeze

Test For Carbon Monoxide, It's A Breeze

How to test for carbon monoxide is something everyone should know, whether you rent or own.

For one Peachtree Corners family this was a lesson learned the hard way, as they were taken to the hospital earlier this year as a result of high levels of carbon monoxide inhalation, reports Atlant’s WSB-TV 2, as the result of leaks near the furnace. Fortunately avoiding the outcome suffered by the suburban Atlanta family of four is easy by testing for carbon monoxide.

A simple first step to testing for carbon monoxide is installing a detector. It is recommended to put one in every room of a structure or in the hallway outside of rooms for efficient carbon monoxide detection. Of course, not all carbon monoxide detectors are the same, but thankfully Consumer Reports did the homework for you in selecting one.

Carbon monoxide detectors come in battery powered, plugin units and hardwired equipment with battery backups. Since carbon monoxide is relatively the same weight as ambient air in the room, detectors can be placed at any level.

For battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors, routine maintenance includes replacing the batteries twice annually, recommended to occur in conjunction with daylight savings. Regardless of unit type, testing on a monthly basis is also recommended.

This is a simple process as well: First find the “test” button, then press and hold it for a few seconds. Listen for a beep to indicate the unit is working. Release the button. If no sound is heard, replace the batteries in the unit and repeat the test procedure. If still not working, replace the unit.

With a carbon monoxide detection unit installed, most threats will sound an alarm before problems arise. Yet, there are a few other things you can do to test for possible carbon monoxide leaks.

An initial additional step to test for carbon monoxide is visually inspecting pilot lights that consistently go out and gas burners that omit odd odors. You can also make visual inspections for abnormal levels of dew on hard surfaces or windows that gather water, as increased humidity can be associated with carbon monoxide spreading.

If you have a fireplace, or other open fires, inspect them for flames that won’t draw or a lack of smoke. You should also check fireplaces and other fuel-burning devices for soot accumulation and proper ventilation.

Another option for testing for carbon monoxide are stick on kits, which work by sticking a sensor containing strip onto a wall. If the sensor changes color, CO is present in the room. The benefit of these kits are that they are often more sensitive then electrical units.