Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The most effective way of determining whether there are elevated levels of carbon monoxide in your home is to purchase and install carbon monoxide detectors. There are two basic types of carbon monoxide detectors, plug-in or AC units, and battery operated units. Both alert you to the presence of carbon monoxide.
Plug-in units operate by heating a metal-oxide sensor, which reacts with carbon monoxide. When this type of unit detects carbon monoxide, the alarm sounds, but resets a few minutes after gas dissipates. Plug-in units can plug directly in a wall socket or utilize a power cord. If the unit has a power cord, it should be placed high on a wall, as close to the ceiling as possible.
The battery-operated unit has a disk that darkens from prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide, air pollution, high humidity and household vapors. The infrared sensor in the unit senses the change in the color and sounds the alarm. It is important to remember that the battery and sensor units need to be replaced every two years.
Purchasing a Detector
Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased at general retail and hardware stores. If you have additional concerns about a particular brand, you can call the manufacturer.