Knowing Where to Place Carbon Monoxide Detectors Keeps Your Family Safe

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Knowing where to place carbon monoxide detectors around your home is at least as important as knowing you need them in the first place. You would not buy these potentially life-saving devices and then leave them in their boxes, in your car. Learn where to place carbon monoxide detectors for maximum effectiveness.

Not Too Close

While installation varies by manufacturer, all carbon monoxide detectors need to be at least 15 feet from a source of carbon monoxide (CO). At start-up, your furnace or boiler may produce a trifling amount of CO that will do no harm, but can be sensed by the detector, causing it to activate. To avoid constant false alarms, keep the detector away from any device that burns fuel, including:

  • Wood, coal or pellet stove
  • Gas burners on a kitchen
  • Decorative gas fireplace
  • Gas-fired clothes dryer
  • Water heater’s pilot light
  • Furnace or boiler

Not Too Far

When deciding where to place carbon monoxide detectors in your living areas, remember to be within 10 feet of every bedroom door. If you have an attached garage (a major source of CO from car exhaust), place one near or above the garage. Additionally, these spots are where to place carbon monoxide detectors to ensure your family’s safety:

  • Avoid humid areas, such as bathrooms or indoor saunas
  • Install one on every level of your Greater Cincinnati home
  • Either wall or ceiling installation, as recommended by the manufacturer, is adequate

Professional Placement

An alternative to battery operated units is having the device hard-wired into your home by a professional contractor. In that case, the decision on placing the CO detectors will be in the hands of a trained HVAC and indoor air quality technician. Since a CO detector is not a smoke detector (just as the smoke detector cannot sense CO), you would do well to have both hard-wired safety devices installed and inspected at the same time. Hard-wired models usually feature battery backups.

For additional guidance on where to place carbon monoxide detectors around your Greater Cincinnati home, contact us at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

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"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
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