Carbon monoxide (CO), the deadly colorless, tasteless and odorless gas, has a reputation for being a wintertime problem, but in reality it can be just as prevalent in the summer. Carbon monoxide detector triggers might occur from any of these places and activities:
- Malfunctioning gas appliances – Any gas appliance can emit CO if it’s not getting the correct gas to air ratio. The best way to check is to look at the color of the flame. If it’s yellow, the appliance needs adjustment. Tiny amounts of yellow at the tip of the flame are acceptable, but if you notice any more, turn the appliance off until it can be repaired.
- Air leaks – Ductwork leaks can pull CO into your home if you use any vented gas appliances, like a dryer, water heater or combustion furnace. Sealing them reduces the risk of CO exposure and lowers energy bills.
- Operating gas-powered vehicles or yard equipment in the garage – Attached garages pose the greatest hazard for CO exposure, but even a free-standing garage can be a danger if you run the equipment too long, even with the doors and windows wide open. If your garage is attached, any of these activities can pose carbon monoxide detector triggers.
- Grilling or barbecuing too close to an open door, window or inside the garage – Not only can these activities pull CO indoors, they’re also a fire hazard.
- Lack of fresh air ventilation indoors – When homes are tightly closed for cooling or heating for weeks on end, unhealthy gases can accumulate inside. The HVAC industry has made significant strides in designing ventilation systems that are energy efficient to improve indoor ventilation.
- Defective CO detectors – If your detectors go off for no apparent reason, one or more may be defective. They last approximately five years, and besides testing the batteries monthly, you should keep a record of when you installed the detectors in your home.
The pros at Griffith Energy Services, Inc. can help you avoid carbon monoxide detector triggers and improve indoor air quality. We’ve provided HVAC services for homeowners in the Baltimore area for more than 100 years.
Written by Kevin Spain.
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