Plan Your Carbon Monoxide Reduction Project Carefully
Whether you live in an old home or newer home, there are many ways to protect and improve your indoor air quality. The following information about carbon monoxide reduction helps you take immediate steps that protects the indoor air quality in your home. As a result, these steps help avoid Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Reducing Carbon Monoxide Risks
Here are 10 tips for reducing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home and to improve your indoor air quality:
- Install a minimum of 2 battery-operated or battery back-up CO detectors in your home. Place your detector where it will wake you up if it alarms, such as outside of bedrooms.
- Consider buying a detector with a digital readout. This type of detector can tell you the highest level of CO concentration in your home in addition to alarming you when dangerously high CO levels are detected.
- Replace the battery in CO alarms when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.
- Replace your CO detector at least every five years.
- Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
- Do not use unvented gas, propane or kerosene heaters indoors.
- When you buy gas equipment, buy only equipment carrying the seal of a national testing agency, such as Underwriters’ Laboratories.
- Make sure all fossil-fuel furnaces, boilers, heaters, water heaters and other appliances are vented properly. Horizontal vent or chimney pipes should be pitched up slightly as they go toward outdoors. This helps prevent CO from back-drafting or spilling from chimneys into the house.
- Never use a gas range or oven for heating and always use your kitchen exhaust fan when cooking with gas ranges. Using a gas range or oven for heating can cause a buildup of CO inside your home.
- Never use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.
Keep Carbon Monoxide Detectors Fresh
The buildup of Carbon Monoxide occurs in your home without notice. For example, high levels of CO in your home makes occupants sick. Additionally, in some cases, cause death. Infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease or breathing problems are those with the highest risk.
Protect your home by making sure CO detectors and alarms function properly with fresh batteries. CO detectors with a digital readout tell you the level of CO in your home at any moment. Generally, home safety experts recommend at least one of the detectors in your home contain a digital readout. Finally, replace CO detectors older than 5 years old with newer ones.
If your home has CO detectors going off or occupants experience some of the symptoms of CO poisoning, exit your home right away (or, at minimum, ventilate your home by opening windows) and call your natural gas utility provider, emergency response unit or experienced contractor in your area immediately.