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How Can I Tell if There is Carbon Monoxide in My Home?

How Can I Tell if There is Carbon Monoxide in My Home?

Carbon monoxide gas (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and in high concentrations it can be deadly. It exists in low concetrations in homes almost everywhere else. And seeing as you can’t see, smell, or taste CO, electronic combusting testing devices are the best way to test for carbon monoxide in homes.

How to Test Carbon Monoxide in Homes?

Simple carbon monoxide detectors are the most common form of these testing devices. But such devices typically don’t provide measurements of the precise level of carbon monoxide. Instead, they sound an alarm when they detect high levels of carbon monoxide. Thus, CO detectors will alert you of dangerous concentrations of the gas but don’t test its precise levels.

Hiring a professional to perform an indoor air quality (IAQ) test is the most accurate way to test the actual levels of carbon monoxide in your home. The federal government states that CO at 35 parts per million (ppm) is the highest concentration that can still be safe during exposures lasting 8 hours.

Mild symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning begin around 70 ppm for most people. These might include nausea, headaches, and fatigue. Prolonged exposure to concentrations of CO in excess of 150 ppm can leave you disoriented and can even be fatal.

Yes, these numbers can be confusing. But the key take away is to make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home. And, if you’re unsure about the levels of CO in your home, contact a professional to perform an IAQ test.

A small carbon monoxide leak likely won’t set off your CO alarms or pose any immediate danger. But over time, the leak may worsen and begin releasing more gas. By periodically testing the carbon monoxide levels in your home, you can catch these kinds of issues before they have a chance to become dangerous.

What Causes Carbon Monoxide in Homes?

Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of burning fuel. So gas appliances like furnaces, water heaters, ovens, and dryers are all sources of carbon monoxide. However, when they’re working properly, all of these appliances are perfectly safe to use in your home.

Most of these appliances release the CO they produce outdoors, preventing any potential problems inside. Stoves and ovens often don’t, but they produce such small amounts of the gas that they shouldn’t don’t pose a threat.

Where Should Carbon Monoxide Detectors Be Installed?

You should install carbon monoxide detectors near any sleeping area in your home. Doing so ensures that the alarm can wake you in the event of a leak. It’s also a good idea to install additional detectors on every floor of your home, especially near your heating system. And because CO is lighter than air, place the detectors at least a couple feet off the ground.

If the alarm sounds on any of your detectors, exit your home immediately and call 911. Don’t re-enter the building the fire department or a qualified technician clears you to do so.

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Crowther's HVAC did a total install for an older house for me 14 years ago. They are very good at what they do and are also the epitome of customer service. Any problems that I have had they took care of immediately at very reasonable prices. Add in that they are all really good people and you have the formula for a very successful business. Rereccomend them highly."

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I selected Crowther to replace both of my HVAC systems and they did a great job. They went the extra mile to correct duct work, and add a vent in order to bring my homes HVAC systems up to the best performance.

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We had a total duel system heat pump replacement. It was a pleasure working with CHAC. From the sales rep to the technicians responsible for the install. Very professional in their craftsmanship and ensuring everything was installed and working correctly. Very courteous and respectful of our property. We are new to the area and am glad we chose CHAC for our HVAC needs.

Steve Casey

For 25 years, Crowther has provided excellent customer service and support for our Carrier zoned heat pump. They are responsive, helpful and great to work with! We love their seasonal maintenance program and have had them complete some system redesign for our home renovation. All around a great team!

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