Do we need a Carbon Monoxide detector in our home?

Carbon Monoxide or CO is very dangerous. It can’t be seen or smelled and without a carbon monoxide detector.

Eric Kjelshus Energy Heating and Cooling installs and services the National Safety Institute’s Low Level Carbon Monoxide Monitor to help our customers combat the silent killer – CO.

Consider these facts about Carbon Monoxide:

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) is the number one cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission. It’s estimated approximately 500 deaths occur each year from accidental CO poisoning. Carbon Monoxide also results in approximately 10,000 illnesses each year, for which people are treated in hospital emergency rooms, a number which is underestimated.
  • Carbon Monoxide is totally undetectable by human senses; it is an odorless, colorless and tasteless poison and is so deadly that it has earned the name, “The Silent Killer.” Carbon Monoxide is highly toxic and can act on the body quickly in high concentrations, or slowly over long periods of time.

Household appliances can be a deadly source of CO poison

Even with regular maintenance and checkups, any appliance can malfunction at any time, silently emitting poisonous CO into your air with no warning. CO is a by-product of incomplete combustion of fuels like natural gas, liquid propane, coal, oil and wood.

This means a defective furnace, a blocked chimney, faulty gas appliances like a water heater or range, clogged venting or a car idling in the garage can all present a serious danger to your family. Unless, of course, you help guard your family against this threat by having at least one dependable CO detector in your home.

No appliance is designed to last forever. The potential for exposure to CO is a real one, and your family could be poisoned without even knowing it. Installing a CO detector is one important way to alert your family to this potential danger.

Symptoms of CO Poisoning

At low level concentrations, CO can go undetected and contribute to nagging illnesses. Symptoms such as headaches and fatigue are common to illnesses such as the flu or the common cold. Things like “memory loss” and “facial ticks” are also symptoms of “Low Level” CO poisoning.

Home Centers and Hardware stores sell CO Alarms but they may be inadequate

Consumers Reports states the biggest problem with CO Alarms is “False Alarms” and “No Alarm” situations. Imagine your house is filling up with toxic CO levels an your CO Alarm is hanging silently on the wall. Yikes! That’s why we strongly suggest you buy what the pro’s sell. A CO Monitor with both low and high level alarms.

Saving a few bucks can have draw-backs. But here are the facts… most alarms sold in a Home Center or Hardware Store only provide “High Level Protection.” Good but not good enough for you family’s complete protection.

In addition, most CO alarms sold in Home Centers and Hardware stores have a 2 year life-span (as often stated in the fine print). Compare that to the industry standard “electrochemical sensor” with a full 5 years life span…guaranteed.

That is why Eric Kjelshus Energy Heating and Cooling installs and services the National Safety Institute’s Low Level Carbon Monoxide Monitor.

What to do if you’re CO Monitor goes off

Get out of the house! Don’t open windows…. Don’t check your alarm…. Call your service provider from a neighbors home to perform a CO Investigation. Skilled technicians are great but what you want in an alarm situation is a Technician trained in “Combustion Efficiency” and “Carbon Monoxide Detection.”

You may also call the Fire Department or Utility Company if your alarm goes off. The fire department will respond to a CO alarm. It’s their job as first responders to check your blood for dangerous levels of CO. They will also evacuate you from the premises if a serious CO condition exists. However, fixing the problem is not their job, you must call a heating contractor.

Utility companies also by law have to respond to a CO call but it’s not free. When they arrive their technician will determine if the conditions in the house are safe or not…however, many times they fail to determine the exact cause and shut off your gas supply if a dangerous condition exists. Even if they stumble into the source of CO they still will shut down the suspected appliance. They will generally advise you to call a contractor.

Eric Kjelshus Energy Heating and Cooling has been providing air conditioning services in the Kansas City area since 1972. Our commitment to quality and dedication to excellence in customer care has made Eric Kjelshus Energy Heating and Cooling the #1 heating and cooling services company in the Kansas City Metro Area.

Categorized in: Indoor Air Quality