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When Did You Last Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detector?


Carbon monoxide is known as a silent killer. Because we can’t detect it ourselves, carbon monoxide poisoning results in the accidental deaths of hundreds of Americans each year. Testing every carbon monoxide detector in your home on a regular basis is a simple way to ensure you and your family’s safety.

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is the by-product of fuel-burning appliances, equipment and automobiles. Faulty, dirty or inefficient heating equipment is typically to blame for giving off carbon monoxide, and a lack of adequate ventilation in the home contributes to danger.

Carbon monoxide causes harm and ultimately death by preventing the transfer of oxygen to the brain, heart, lungs and other vital organs. Symptoms include nausea, dizziness, vomiting, confusion and unconsciousness. In addition to hundreds of fatalities each year from CO poisoning, thousands more carbon monoxide poisoning victims end up in the emergency room.

Testing Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide can’t be seen, and it’s tasteless and odorless. Using carbon monoxide detectors is the only practical way to keep your home safe. Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly with these tips:

  • Test all carbon monoxide detectors on a monthly basis. It’s as simple as locating and pressing the test button on each carbon monoxide detector until it starts beeping, then release it.
  • Replace batteries once a year. If you don’t remember when you last changed the batteries, replace the batteries with new ones.
  • If your detectors are hard-wired or plug into an outlet, make sure they have a battery backup. If they don’t, replace the detectors. Without battery-powered backup, the detector won’t work in a power outage.
  • The life span of CO detectors varies widely. Check the manufacturing date on the back. Cross-reference with the operating manual or online resources.
  • Clean the surface of each detector with the vacuum brush each month. Don’t use chemical cleaners on carbon monoxide detectors, or you may damage sensitive components.

Learn more about the carbon monoxide detector and other indoor air quality solutions available from McDevitt Air, or give us a call at 877-692-9402 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced HVAC technicians!

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