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Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Does your home have a carbon monoxide alarm, also called CO detectors? If you have a gas-powered appliance of any sort (such as a furnace), then having a carbon monoxide alarm is essential. Otherwise, you risk carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be deadly.

Why are Carbon Monoxide Detectors Necessary?

Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that humans cannot detect on their own. To our senses, carbon monoxide doesn’t have a smell or a colour. However, when we breathe it in, it replaces oxygen in our blood. Enough carbon monoxide can replace so much oxygen that your brain and the rest of your body is starved of it, which can result in death.

Carbon monoxide is produced in small amounts by all gas appliances. This gas is supposed to be vented out of the appliance. And, it will also disperse somewhat in the air. However, there is always the possibility that something causes carbon monoxide to build up in your home. So, it’s a wise idea to have a carbon monoxide detector on hand.

In fact, in many areas, building codes mandate that anyone with a gas appliance or attached garage must have a carbon monoxide detector, often in a specific place in the home.

Carbon monoxide is the cause of thousands of deaths or close calls every year in Canada, and many elements that are commonly used in households contain this substance and can pose a risk. Installing a carbon monoxide alarm ensures that you’re alerted of a threat before it’s too late.

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How to Choose a Carbon Monoxide Detector

If you just got a new gas appliance installed, or just discovered that you need a new carbon monoxide alarm, there are a few things you should know.

Battery vs Hard Wired

Alarms that are hardwired are convenient because they don’t require you to change the batteries. However, they won’t work during a power outage and are more work to install. If you choose a battery-powered model, be sure it has a feature to alert you when the battery is running low.


The specific model of carbon monoxide detector you choose should be certified.

Want to learn what to do if you find yourself in an HVAC emergency situation?Get our HVAC Emergency Guide


Things to consider for
your installation

You’ll want to install it five feet from the ground (which is ideal for detecting the gas.) You may need more than one, as you should install one on every level of your home and near attached garages. It’s ideal to place the carbon monoxide detector that is on the same level of the house as your bedroom near that bedroom. You should be able to hear the alarm from your bed.

The HVAC professionals at Anchor Home Comfort can tell you if you need a carbon monoxide detector. Get in touch with us today in Ottawa, Orleans, Embrun, and the surrounding areas to learn more.

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