It’s a frightening thought to think that you could be poisoned by gas. Carbon monoxide is the most common of all household gases and can be found in the gas used to heat your home, or even in an exhaust pipe from a car. But it can also be found in gasoline, which many people use to power their vehicles. It’s the leading cause of fatal poisonings in the United States every year, responsible for about 10,000 deaths. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 100 Americans die each day from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide detectors are designed to protect us from this deadly threat. They’re inexpensive enough that anyone who has any doubts should consider installing one. It’s also a good idea to make sure that the ones you have are working properly. If you find yourself in need of a new detector, here are some tips for choosing one.
What Should You Look For In A Carbon Monoxide Detector?
There are two main types of carbon monoxide detectors on the market today. The first type is called the “passive” detector, because it doesn’t require batteries or any kind of electrical current in order for it to work. The second type is called “active,” meaning that it uses electronics to detect the presence of carbon monoxide. Many active models come with a backup battery so they can operate when the primary power source fails. You’ll typically see these detectors referred to as “CO alarms”.
Passive CO detectors don’t rely on any kind of electronic components, but instead consist of a sensor attached to a small piece of plastic that reacts to changes in temperature. When carbon monoxide enters a room, it reduces the amount of oxygen in the air, making it cooler. This makes the sensor react by changing color or melting (depending on the model). The detector then sounds an alarm when the sensor detects a change in temperature.
The carbon monoxide detectors are the instruments that help in doing the detection of the presence of the carbon monoxide in the air. The person will see that Carbon monoxide detector goes off in the middle of the night. The person need to be careful in choosing the best detector that is available. If the person will dedicate a good time in choosing then the results will be best.
Active CO detectors do rely on electronics, but their internal circuitry is designed differently from what you may be familiar with. Instead of relying on a transistor or other component, the circuitry inside an active detector contains a microprocessor board that performs mathematical calculations based on data received from the sensor itself. These chips can sometimes be confused by the presence of humidity or moisture, which would affect the readings taken by the sensor. Some manufacturers have included a special chip specifically to account for these conditions, which allows for greater accuracy.
If you want to save money, look for a passive detector. Active units tend to cost more than $50, while the lowest price you’ll likely find for a passive unit will fall around $30.
How To Tell Which Type Of Carbon Monoxide Alarm Is Right For Your Home
The first thing you want to consider when looking for a carbon monoxide detector is where it will be installed in your home. Because carbon monoxide is heavier than oxygen, it tends to concentrate in low-lying areas such as basements or garages. Passive detectors can therefore detect the presence of carbon monoxide at lower levels than active detectors. Because of this, they’re better suited for homes with basement or garage doors where carbon monoxide might accumulate.
For safety reasons, you should install your detector near the floor rather than up high. While there are exceptions, it’s generally not recommended to place them in bathrooms, bedrooms, or anywhere else that might collect dust. Placing a CO detector in a kitchen area is also risky, because cooking fumes can get trapped in the space between the ceiling and the detector’s housing.
Another important consideration when selecting a CO detector is how often you plan on using it. If you rarely leave your house, you probably won’t need a sophisticated model that measures the level of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere. On the other hand, if you frequently travel, you might prefer a more advanced detector that can measure both the concentration of carbon monoxide and its rate of flow through the house.
When it comes time to replace the battery, check the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Most manufacturers recommend replacing detectors every three years, and while you should definitely follow the manufacturer’s instructions, if your detector isn’t working properly or seems to have lost its accuracy after only a few months, consider having it replaced.
Some CO sensors include a “test button” that allows users to test the functioning of the detector without turning it off. Be careful to turn the detector completely off before testing the buttons, since otherwise you might accidentally activate the alarm.
How Do You Know If Your Carbon Monoxide Detector Is Working Properly?
One way to test whether your CO detector is working correctly is to open your windows, set the detector outside, and wait for the alarm to sound. If the detector activates when no carbon monoxide is present in your home, you’ve identified a malfunctioning device.
You can also try connecting your detector to a laptop or smartphone app. If the device is working correctly, the software will display either a green light or a red light depending on whether or not the detector is activated. You can also plug the device into your computer using USB cable and run a diagnostic test, which will tell you whether or not the device is operating properly. If you get conflicting results from the various tests, contact the manufacturer of the detector to ask questions.
If you suspect that your detector is broken, you need to take immediate action. Call a professional immediately, and ensure that everyone in your home stays indoors until the problem is resolved. Once you’ve confirmed that the CO detector is working again, you should consider purchasing a replacement.
Do You Need A Carbon Monoxide Detector In Every Room?
As mentioned earlier, carbon monoxide is heavier than air, so it tends to concentrate in low-lying areas like basements or garages. As a result, the chances of finding the substance in a bedroom or bathroom are slim to none. However, it’s still a good idea to install a CO detector in those rooms, just to be safe.