Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Service Experts and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own. View my disclosure policy for more info.
How to Protect your Home from Carbon Monoxide
While it seems hard to believe, I have been a homeowner for 16 years! Even more amazing to me? I am still learning lessons about being a homeowner…the most recent involving a burrow of skunks and my 12 year old shih tzu. But that? That is a story for another day…
Today I wanted to take some time to talk to you about a super important, and very serious safety concern that all homeowners need to be aware of – and that is carbon monoxide poisoning. Did you know that nearly 20,000 people are taken to the emergency room each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning? Thankfully, there are several ways that we can protect ourselves, with carbon monoxide detectors being at the top of the list.
A survey completed on behalf of Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a firm servicing approximately 2,000 homes daily in 95 markets, questioned 1,000 homeowners in the U.S. and Canada about their knowledge of carbon monoxide, and some of the stats were alarming! While 50% of homeowners are concerned about carbon monoxide, the survey found that many don’t know a lot about the dangers and how to prevent them.
Some key results of the survey that I thought are important to point out are:
- Over one third of homeowners (34%) don’t have or aren’t sure if they have a carbon monoxide detector in their homes
- The South and Central regions, the latter of which includes Columbus, OH (where I live!), are more likely to have out-of-date carbon monoxide detectors
- More than half (54%) don’t know the best place in the home to install a carbon monoxide detector
- 41% say they never replace their carbon monoxide detector, or they aren’t sure how often it is replaced
- 66.5% don’t know if they would recognize the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
Potential sources of carbon monoxide include your furnace, fireplace and clothes dryer (among others). And even if you have a new furnace, if it wasn’t installed properly, you could be at risk. One way to protect yourself is to schedule a Precision Tune-up from Service Experts. They check 29 different points on the furnace and the related ducts to ensure everything is operating efficiently, as well as cleaning and lubricating key parts, changing the filter and adjusting the gas pressure and pilot. This saves money on utility bills, keeps the warranty valid, and avoids unexpected breakdowns.
In addition to having your furnace checked, another way to protect yourself is to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home, if you haven’t already. They should be installed outside of each bedroom, at minimum. Places you do NOT want to install Carbon Monoxide detectors are within 15 feet of heating or cooking appliances or in humid areas such as bathrooms. They also should not be installed directly above or beside fuel-burning appliances, since those may emit a small amount of carbon monoxide on start-up.
In our house, we have carbon monoxide detectors in our kitchen, in our upstairs hall (outside of our bedroom doors), and in our basement.
Installing carbon monodixe detectors is only half of the battle! You have to maintain them as well. The folks at Service Experts Heating and Air Conditioning recommend replacing your carbon monoxide detectors every five years, and checking your carbon monoxide and fire detectors each month to verify the batteries and alarm are operating properly.
Learn more about protecting your family from Carbon Monoxide and get more info about Service Experts at www.serviceexperts.com or www.serviceexperts.ca. Also be sure to check them out on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
About Service Experts: Founded in 1996, Service Experts is a leading provider of HVAC repair, maintenance, new equipment sales and related services to residential and commercial customers in 29 states in the United States and three provinces in Canada. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Service Experts is one of North America’s largest heating and air conditioning companies, with 90 locations, 41 of which are located in the top 100 U.S. metropolitan areas, and approximately 2,800 employees serving approximately 2,000 homes and businesses, on average, each working day.