Carbon monoxide (CO) is a potentially deadly gas that’s the byproduct of incomplete combustion, and carbon monoxide triggers can result from more than a faulty gas furnace. Attached garages, gas yard equipment, barbecues and indoor combustion appliances can be a source for this gas year-round. If your CO detectors sound, it may be from any of these sources:
- Running a vehicle in an attached garage, even with the garage door open. Unless the seal between the adjoining wall and the entrance door to your home is tight, CO may leak into your home, especially if you run the car for any length of time.
- Lack of fresh air venting, particularly during cold weather. Although cold weather doesn’t last long in our region, when it does, you may close your home up tightly, and your indoor air quality overall may suffer. Energy-efficient ventilation devices are available that pull stale air out and bring in fresh air, reducing the level of CO indoors, along with other pollutants. Devices such as heat and energy recovery ventilators exchange heat energy in the outgoing air with the incoming air to minimize energy losses.
- Improperly placed CO detectors. If the detectors are too close to a gas appliance, you’ll probably experience carbon monoxide triggers from trace amounts of CO at startup. The detectors should be no closer than 10 feet from a gas furnace, stove, water heater, gas dryer or attached garage doorway.
- Using a gas or charcoal grill indoors, including the garage, or too close to an open door or window.
- Malfunctioning gas appliances. Gas furnaces need to be professionally inspected annually for the safest operation. If you ever notice other gas appliance burning with a yellow (rather than bluish) flame, turn them off and have them professionally serviced.
- Aging CO detectors. CO detectors last approximately five years, and one that needs to be replaced may sound the alarm even when everything is all right indoors. If nobody indoors has any symptoms of CO poisoning, it’s a good idea to air out the home and replace the detector.
To learn more about avoiding carbon monoxide triggers, please contact us at Senica Air Conditioning, Inc., Inc., providing quality HVAC services for the Tampa-Clearwater area since 1992.
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