If your furnace were to develop a carbon monoxide leak, wouldn’t you like to be alerted about it before the leak got worse? Although conventional carbon monoxide detectors can alert you when carbon monoxide (CO) levels are dangerously high, they don’t make you aware of carbon monoxide as it builds up at lower levels. For that, you need a low-level carbon monoxide detector. Today we’re going to talk about the health effects associated with low-level carbon monoxide exposure and the advantages of installing a low-level carbon monoxide detector in your home.

The health effects of chronic exposure to low levels of CO

Before we talk about low-level carbon monoxide detectors, let’s take a look at the health effects associated with chronic exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide.

Low-level carbon monoxide exposure can be an issue for anybody, but it is particularly problematic for children, elderly people, pregnant women and anyone with a compromised immune system. If these people are in the presence of low levels of carbon monoxide for an extended period of time, they can experience:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea

The problem with conventional carbon monoxide detectors

Conventional carbon monoxide detectors are designed to alert you when your home has dangerously high CO levels for an extended period. They are not designed to alert you of continued exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide. Although people can develop symptoms from carbon monoxide exposure at around 15 parts per million (ppm), conventional carbon monoxide detectors only alert at the following levels:

  • 30 ppm after 30 days of exposure
  • 70 ppm within 1-4 hours of exposure
  • 150 ppm within 10-15 minutes of exposure
  • 400 ppm within 4-15 minutes of exposure

The advantages of a low-level carbon monoxide detector

As you can see from the numbers above, a conventional carbon monoxide detector can allow your home to have low-level carbon monoxide exposure for days, weeks, and months without alerting you. A low-level carbon monoxide detector, on the other hand, will begin displaying your home’s carbon monoxide levels in real-time at about 5 ppm. An alarm will begin to sound after a few minutes of exposure at 15 ppm, and the alarm will sound more frequently as carbon monoxide levels begin to increase.

By alerting you much sooner and at lower levels than conventional detectors, a low-level carbon monoxide detector will let you know exactly how much CO is in your home’s air and allow you to take care of potential problems before they get worse. Contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning to have a low-level carbon monoxide detector installed in your home today!

If you have any questions about a low-level carbon monoxide detector, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Louis area heating and cooling contractor. We service the St. Louis area, including towns like St. Paul, St. Peters, and Town and Country.

photo credit: Judy ** via photopin cc

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