Thursday, December 8, 2011

Where to Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors for Maximum Safety in Your Home

Last month, we talked about the importance of installing home carbon monoxide detectors to warn your family of a CO leak from a malfunctioning furnace or other fuel-burning appliances. Carbon monoxide is, after all, the source of hundreds of at-home deaths every year.

This week we wanted to touch on an equally important subject, which is where to actually put CO detectors in your St. Louis area home.

Where to install carbon monoxide detectors


The placement of your CO detectors will depend on a number of things, including the specific structure of your house and how many detectors you're willing to install. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your home is equipped for maximum safety when it comes to detecting CO in your air.

A CO detector should be installed...
  • On every level of your home. Ideally, you want to detect a carbon monoxide leak at its source before it spreads to the rest of the house. With a detector on every level, you can make sure your whole house is covered.
  • At least five feet above the floor. Carbon monoxide tends to rise with warm air, so it's best to have your detectors at least five feet above the ground or on the ceiling.
  • Near every sleeping area. This is extremely important, because you want to make sure everyone in your family can hear a CO detector if it goes off in the middle of the night.
  • Near or over attached garages. Carbon monoxide that's emitted in attached garages can quickly spread to the rest of the house. Detect it at its source by putting a detector near or over attached garages.
  • Where the manufacturer recommends. Every manufacturer has specific instructions on where to place their CO detectors. Make sure to follow their guidelines, because they are based on testing of your specific product.

Where NOT to install carbon monoxide detectors


There are certain areas of your home that you'll want to avoid installing CO detectors if you can. In any of these locations, your detector might either go off when it shouldn't or be prevented from detecting CO in the air.
  • Near fuel-burning appliances
  • Near regular sources of humidity, particularly bathrooms
  • In direct sunlight
  • Near sources of blowing air like ceiling fans and air registers
If you have any questions about the indoor air quality of your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.

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