1797 Park Drive, Traverse City, MI 49686
Phone: 866-BOB-HEAT

Carbon Monoxide Detectors: What You Need To Know To Really Benefit

Carbon Monoxide Detectors: What You Need To Know To Really BenefitJust as your Grand Traverse County house has smoke detectors to save your family’s lives and your home, so too should you have carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. Quantity, correct location, awareness of obstacles to avoid and maintenance of carbon monoxide detectors are all crucial.

Beyond Your Senses

Carbon monoxide detectors pick up the presence of the poisonous, odorless, colorless gas completely undetectable by humans. CO is a by-product of incomplete combustion of any burning fuel (kerosene heater, gas- or oil-fired furnace or boiler, charcoal grill, wood stove and the like).

When breathed in, carbon monoxide starves your body of oxygen, eventually resulting in death if the exposure is sufficient. In less severe concentrations, it causes headache, nausea and dizziness. Carbon monoxide detector are essential to your family’s safety.

By the Numbers

One carbon monoxide monitor is not enough unless you are in a recreational vehicle or small cabin cruiser. Your home should have at least on detector per floor, with an additional detector for the basement.

Location, Location, Location

  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends installing a CO detector in the hallway outside bedrooms for every sleeping area in a home, including seldom-used guest rooms, or areas where preteens and teenagers might have sleepovers.
  • Basement installation should be near the top of the basement stairs.
  • Wall or ceiling placement is fine; CO is nearly the same density as air, so it can travel with air currents from floor to ceiling.

Keep Out!

  • Avoid installation close to sources of humidity (such as bathrooms and saunas).
  • Avoid installation near windows you may open, since airflow will cause inaccurate readings.
  • Keep the detector 15 to 20 feet away from your furnace or boiler.
  • Keep them out of the kitchen, garage and away from wood or coal stoves.


Hard-wired carbon monoxide detectors need reserve batteries. Replace batteries in battery-powered units when you replace your smoke detectors’ batteries. Test units monthly, but remember the test button only verifies circuitry, not the detector’s ability to detect CO.

For more help in properly locating and installing carbon monoxide detectors in your Northern Michigan home, please contact us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about carbon monoxide detectors and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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