Carbon Monoxide Detectors: What You Need to Know

If your Southwest Florida home features a fuel-burning appliance such as a gas stove, water heater or furnace, you should take extra care to keep the appliance in good condition to avoid the dangers of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an invisible gas that is extremely dangerous and impossible to smell or taste. To ensure your family’s safety, carbon monoxide detectors should be installed throughout your home, and there are a few important things you should know to operate them properly.

Types of Carbon Monoxide Detectors

There are typically three types of carbon monoxide detectors, including hard-wired models that must be installed by an electrician, plug-in models that require a nearby outlet for installation, and battery-operated models that require no external power source. Plug-in and battery-operated models are the least expensive and easiest to install, though hard-wired models may offer more features, such as integration with your alarm system. Plug-in or hard-wired models may also include batteries as a backup power source in case of an outage.


One detector should be installed on each level of the home, near the main living areas and near your fuel-burning appliances, and one should be installed in or near each bedroom. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which will recommend the proper installation heights and locations for the best performance.


Carbon monoxide detectors require very little maintenance to function properly, but they do have a limited lifespan, due to the nature of the materials that detect the gas. Periodically dust the outside of the case, especially near any vents, and install fresh batteries every six months. Every month or so, use the detector’s built-in test function to ensure that it’s still operating properly, and replace it if there are any problems. Finally, check the owner’s manual or the body of the detector for its expatriation date, and replace the detector just before the recommended time.

For more information about installing or using carbon monoxide detectors, talk to our HVAC professionals at Conditioned Air. We serve Southwest Florida, including the communities of Naples and Sarasota.

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