Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible gas that’s produced when fossil fuels burn in a furnace, water heater, range, generator or other gas-fired appliance. If you don’t have proper carbon monoxide detectors, this hazardous combustion byproduct can build up inside your home when it’s closed up for heating or cooling, putting your family’s well-being and safety at risk.
Why Maintaining CO Detectors is Crucial
When carbon monoxide present in the air supply gets inhaled, it attaches to hemoglobin in the blood, which starves the body of the oxygen it needs to create energy. CO gas can’t be seen, and has no taste or odor, so it’s impossible to know if it’s building up inside your home unless your carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. If you’re not aware that the gas is present, you’re in danger of:
Low-level CO poisoning that causes symptoms that mimic the flu, like nausea, headaches, dizziness and fatigue.
High levels of CO in the blood that cause unconsciousness, coma, permanent brain damage or even death.
How to Properly Maintain Your CO Detectors
Installing carbon monoxide detectors in the right locations on each level of a home is just the first step in preventing CO exposure. To make sure they can adequately protect your family, it’s also vital to properly maintain the devices by:
Testing each unit monthly.
This is an easy but essential chore – just press each detector’s test button to verify that it’s making a high-pitched beeping sound so you know it’s functional.
Replacing the batteries annually.
This is necessary even if you have hard-wired detectors, because they have a backup battery that lets them work during a power outage.
Paying attention to end-of-life signals.
Carbon monoxide detectors have a built-in signal that warns you when they reach the end of their useful life, so you can replace them promptly.
Keeping your gas-fired equipment maintained.
Annual preventive maintenance is needed to ensure that your gas-burning devices are operating safely.
To schedule water heater or HVAC maintenance to ensure that your carbon monoxide detectors protect your San Antonio home, contact us at Beyer Boys.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).