Friday, October 23, 2015

CO Monitors – Which ones to Purchase and Why?

It is getting to be winter when we are start turning our furnace’s on and start thinking about safety again. It is most important to have your heating systems inspected for safe operation and maximum efficiency. It is also time to replace batteries for your Carbon Monoxide monitors or purchase new ones if your current one is older than 3 years old. Be sure to purchase a monitor for each floor.


If you have a fossil burning appliance such as a gas, oil, or wood burning furnace, or you have an attached garage to your house; you should own a Carbon Monoxide Monitor for your safety. Thousands of people die or become seriously ill from co poisoning needlessly each year.  Routine maintenance, common sense and a quality co monitor will save lives.

Which CO Monitor should I buy? Great question since there are so many to choose from.  A few tips:

1.     Find one with a fuel cell sensor

2.     You should plan on spending at least $60.00 for a high-end monitor.

3.      Low level monitors can cost over $100.00 and have to be purchased from your HVAC company. These monitors are the best because they will alarm faster than a UL store bought monitor. These monitors start reading CO levels a 5 PPM (Parts Per Million) and will alarm at 35 PPM instantly whereas “store bought monitors” will not alarm until 70 PPM with a four hour duration. These store bought monitors will save your life, but if there are elderly people or young children or anyone with suppressed immune systems living in the house; they may become very ill before the alarm goes off. This is why a low-level monitor is recommended.

4.     Have the monitor in a hall at least 15” from the ceiling. If you have a wall unit, hang it at eye level so you can easily see it when walking by. CO gas is neutral gas as it is the same weight as air so it doesn’t rise or fall.

5.     Consumer Reports has a rating on various monitors that you can buy at the Big Box Stores. The monitors are not all equal.

6.     Check out this web site for additional information and to learn the symptoms of CO poisoning.


Summary: Be sure you have a CO monitor on each floor of your home and have your heating system tuned-up by a professional HVAC technician.