In a previous blog we talked about how cracked heat exchangers and other problems with your heating system can cause carbon monoxide (CO) to leak into your home’s air. Because carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, it’s important to be alerted in the event that you ever do have a CO leak. That’s why it’s so important to install CO detectors in all the right places in your home. Below is some information that will help you decide where to install carbon monoxide detectors in order to best protect the lives of you and your family.

Install your CO detectors according to California State law

As of January 1, 2011, new building requirements went into effect in the state of California that requires carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in every home. According to the requirements, CO detectors must be placed immediately outside every sleeping area as well as on every floor (including in basements and habitable attics). Detectors must also be placed inside any bedroom that has a gas appliance.

Further advice on where to install carbon monoxide detectors

  • Close enough to every sleeping area. As you saw above, CO detectors are required immediately outside every sleeping area in your home. This ensures that your entire family will be woken up by the alarms in the event that they go off in the middle of the night. Make sure your detectors are installed 10-15 feet at most from every sleeping area.
  • At least 15 feet from fuel burning appliances. It’s helpful to have CO detectors near your fuel burning appliances so that they can pick up high levels of carbon monoxide close to the source. However, if a detector is too close it could lead to a false reading. Make sure to keep your CO detectors at least 15-20 feet away from your furnace and other fuel-burning appliances.
  • Away from other areas that affect proper readings. There are a few other places around your home that can affect whether or not your detectors get an accurate reading of CO levels in your home. Here are some places you’ll want to avoid installing your CO detectors: in direct sunlight, behind curtains or other obstructions, near air registers or near windows that are often left open.
  • Where the manufacturer recommends. Before you install any carbon monoxide detector, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and suggestions for where to install that particular unit. Different detectors are designed and tested to be most effective in certain places, and you’ll want to keep that in mind when you’re choosing where to install your detectors.

If you have any questions about where to install carbon monoxide detectors, or if you’d like an HVAC system serviced or installed in your home, contact Hyde’s, your Indio, CA, heating and cooling company.