As the holidays approach, the recipe book is consulted and the turkey is defrosted, check one more thing – the expiration date on your carbon monoxide detector. If it’s five years old or older, toss it and replace it. What? You don’t have one? California law requires a CO monitor on every floor. So make sure you have one on your wall.
Why check your monitor right before Thanksgiving? Because this day is the #1 day for incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning. Most gas-fired appliances such as furnaces and water heaters vent outdoors. The exception is the kitchen stove; combustion products go right into the kitchen. Many but not all kitchens have some kind of exhaust fan, but not every homeowner uses it. Normally you don’t need it. But on Thanksgiving, there could be a turkey in the oven, mashed potatoes on one burner, cranberry sauce on another, green beans boiling on a third…well, you get the picture. So if you have a fan, run it. If you have windows, open them. Don’t ruin a wonderful family occasion with a bad headache – or worse.
And even if you’re not hosting Thanksgiving this year, this is still a good time to confirm your CO monitor is up to snuff. Autumn is when our furnaces kick in, our fireplaces get put to use, and our windows get closed up to keep the chilly air out. None of those things should bring carbon monoxide into your home, but each one does increase the risk by a small fraction, so do the prudent thing and check that expiration date. It’s also a good time to have your furnace checked to make sure it’s venting safely and the heat exchanger is sound. Today’s furnaces are safer than ever, but an inspection by a professional technician at the start of the heating season is still wise. If you’d like to schedule a furnace check, call Air-Tro at (626) 357-3535. We’ll get a pro out there to make sure your system is as safe and efficient as it can be.