How Often Should You Replace Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

14 August, 2020
When to replace your carbon monoxide detectors?

You might have heard a few times before that carbon monoxide is a deadly gas. Or, perhaps you have heard a report about an unfortunate and untimely death due to carbon monoxide poisoning. For this reason, many homes are encouraged to have carbon monoxide detectors to minimize these occurrences.

However, many do not realize that these detectors require maintenance and must be replaced after some time. Adhering to its upkeep will ensure that it continues to work effectively and detect any unwanted carbon monoxide levels in the home. If you have a carbon monoxide monitor in your home and you would like to know when to replace it, continue reading below.

What is carbon monoxide and why is it harmful?

Before carbon monoxide detectors and their maintenance are discussed, understanding what carbon monoxide is and how it is harmful is crucial. Carbon monoxide is a very poisonous gas. It is entirely colourless and does not have a distinctive odour. For this reason, it isn’t very easy for someone to detect it on their own, hence the need for carbon monoxide detectors.

A variety of things can cause carbon monoxide. The following are some of the sources that can produce carbon monoxide in the home:

  • Furnace
  • Generator
  • Gas ranges
  • Poorly ventilated fireplaces
  • Wood burning fireplaces and stoves
  • Gasoline appliances

Although not limited to this list, carbon monoxide can occur under other circumstances. However, it’s essential to note that when carbon monoxide is present in the air, it’s hazardous regardless of the cause. When inhaled in large amounts, it can cause your body to displace oxygen. Instead, oxygen is replaced within the bloodstream, creating a toxic environment that can lead to tissue damage or fatality.

What are the symptoms elicited by the presence of carbon monoxide?

The symptoms generated by carbon monoxide depend on the level of exposure and how much of the gas has been inhaled. Here are the initial symptoms you should pay keen attention to if you suspect carbon monoxide is present in the air:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Disorientation

However, it is crucial to note that if carbon monoxide is pinpointed as the cause for these symptoms, immediate action must be taken. Failure to act quickly can initiate further issues. Continuous exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to very adverse health-related consequences.

How often should you replace your carbon monoxide detectors?

A malfunctioning carbon monoxide detector is quite detrimental. As mentioned, carbon monoxide is a very toxic gas. Due to it being entirely undetectable in plain sight, a functioning detector must be present in your home to avoid any setbacks. Therefore, we suggest that carbon monoxide detectors are replaced every 5–7 years.

The date when it was manufactured is generally stamped on most units. This is done to indicate its age and further suggest when the unit should be replaced. It’s necessary to install a new device after a few years. Doing so will help ensure that your equipment remains in pristine condition and can successfully identify carbon monoxide in your home. It does not make sense to have a device that is unsuccessful in performing its job.

Be sure to replace your carbon monoxide device with one that works well. It’s also important to compare and review units. Researching carbon monoxide detectors and determining which ones are most effective is crucial. Unfortunately, not all devices perform as purported, so receiving one from a reputable company is vital.

Where should a carbon monoxide detector be placed in the home?

The location of carbon monoxide detectors in your home is central for its effectiveness. Proper placement, such as near bedrooms, ensures that you are quickly made aware of changes in your home’s air quality. An immediate warning can help to limit the detrimental health effects of carbon monoxide.

Ways to Prevent Carbon Monoxide in Your Home

  1. Ensure gas appliances are working properly

    In addition to having a carbon monoxide detector in your home, it’s also a great idea to implement preventative measures. Regularly inspecting gas appliances to ensure that they are working effectively is quite beneficial. This will help eliminate the occurrence of ill-functioning gas appliances that can trigger carbon monoxide exposure.

  2. Inspect your furnace system

    Many furnaces are gas-burning, which can emit carbon monoxide. However, a furnace that is working correctly will not release these gases. Carbon monoxide is typically contained within its heat exchanger, and the gases are safely released from your home via the flue pipe. The presence of soot around your furnace is often an indicator of a carbon monoxide leak.

  3. Avoid running your car in the garage

    You may have heard this before, but running your car in your garage for an extended period isn’t a good idea. Even with the garage door open, enough carbon monoxide can build up in this space, leading to a very life-threatening circumstance. Hence, reversing your car out of the garage and then warming it up is the better option.

  4. Keep fireplaces clean and well vented

    Fireplaces can add so much warmth and comfort to your home. However, being safe is important. When using the fireplace, make sure that it is appropriately cleaned before each use. Also, ensure that it is well ventilated so that fumes can properly escape without building up. Inadequate ventilation can lead to the presence of carbon monoxide in your home.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Installation

Hi-Lite Electric Inc. offers professional installations for carbon monoxide monitors. Our team of experts is equipped to mount these units in your home. Should you be looking for reliable services, we encourage you to contact us. We would be more than happy to provide you with further information and offer you a quote on our services.



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