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Carbon Monoxide Detection
Home Knowledge Hub Carbon Monoxide Detection
24 Jul 2023  /  by admin   /   0 Comments

Last week I was reminded about carbon monoxide due to the ice storm that went through the area and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of people in the area, myself included. I lost the use of the furnace because the blower could not move the heat from the furnace to the duct system. As a result, I had to use the stove for heat (it is a 1948 model Magic Chef with pilot light). Well, the stove did provide enough heat, as long as I was in the kitchen, but did not do much for the rest of the house. It did keep things above freezing for 5 days. Great, right? Yes and no. I did have some heat…great! I also had exhaust fumes (carbon monoxide) from using the gas burners for as long as I did. Those fumes seemed to accumulate in my upstairs bedroom and since carbon monoxide is odorless, I did not know about the presence of these fumes. I think it was the 4th day when I woke up during the night with a very nasty headache and knew where it came from. I had one many years ago when my father-in-law tried saving money by using a torpedo type kerosene heater in the house and did not provide proper ventilation for it. The fumes from the heater collected in my bedroom and made me violently ill with a massive headache.

The solution to the above noted problems would have been a simple carbon monoxide detector. The amount of carbon monoxide in the air would have set the alarm off and I could have been protected from a lot of pain. It needs to be noted at this point, that if I did not wake up when I did, I would have died!

Another type of incident that has occurred more than once is when a heat exchanger in a furnace develops a crack due to its age and slowly bleeds carbon monoxide into the heater air and distributes it throughout the entire house. This can cause the people who live in the house to develop various health problems. Over the years, the company I work for has removed many heat exchangers with cracks and some with chunks broken out of the heat exchangers. After the heat exchanger was replaced, the customers had better heat and their health improved. If they had a detector, they would have been alarmed much sooner and called someone about it.

A carbon monoxide detector does not cost much and is something that can save lives very easily. They can be purchased at Lowes, Ace Hardware, Home Depot and most Mom and Pop hardware stores, with installation involving either 2 screws or the use of double-sided foam tape. You install the battery that comes with it and you are done. Simple!

Once the detector detects carbon monoxide, it will screel with a very loud noise. Now, once the carbon monoxide has been detected, how do you get rid of it? Usually, shut the furnace off and open some windows or just leave the location. Once you are no longer “in harm’s way”, you need to contact a heating and cooling firm to come and fix the problem. If you cannot contact a company to take care of the problem, then use the heat as little as possible and be sure to open a window upstairs to vent the carbon monoxide out of the building…if you can. Otherwise, you will be slowly poisoning yourself and having some very, very nasty headaches and it gets worse from there.

So, save your health and your life…get a carbon monoxide detector.

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