Where to Place Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Your Central Florida Home

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Smoke Detector

Carbon monoxide (CO) is scary stuff, and I hope by now I’ve convinced you that a CO detector is an absolute must-have in your Orlando-area home. But if you’re just upgrading your home safety now, or installing an additional detector, do you know where to place carbon monoxide detectors?

It might seem smart to put your CO detector right next to the CO-producing appliances in your house: gas stoves, furnaces, and water heaters, for example. Don’t! Putting your detector too close to these can lead to false alarms: times when the detector picks up the traces of carbon monoxide created by combustion that are adequately ventilated  before reaching the rest of your house. False alarms can be stressful, and they can lead to not trusting your detector when you need it. Keep detectors at least 15 feet away from your gas-burning appliances.

Instead, put your carbon monoxide detector outside your bedrooms, where it can wake you if you’re asleep when an alarm happens. If your house has more than one story, install a detector on every floor.

But how high up should your detector be? With straight CO detectors, it doesn’t matter too much: carbon monoxide is the same weight as air. However, if you’re installing one and you have a gas furnace, a CO leak from the furnace may be carried with the warm air, which rises. That means that it might be a good idea to install the detectors a little higher up on the wall.

A CO detector isn’t a smoke alarm, and a smoke alarm can’t detect carbon monoxide, but there are combined CO/smoke detectors available. If you’re installing those, higher is better, because smoke from a fire will rise to the ceiling.

Because carbon monoxide has no color, no taste, and no smell, having a CO detector is essential to keeping your home safe. To learn more about where to place carbon monoxide detectors and what models are best for your household, call us at Scott’s Heating & Air Conditioning!

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