Q: Is a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm the same as a CO monitor? Can I check CO levels myself, or do I need to call an HVAC company to perform the test?
A: No, they are not the same thing. If you have any flame-fueled devices in your home, then you probably have a CO alarm. While these are necessary, CO alarms may provide a false sense of security because they tend to only go off when the CO levels in your home have reached high levels. A CO monitor, however, can pick up low levels of carbon monoxide, warning you and your family in time to correct the combustion problem before the harmful gases reach dangerous levels.
To properly test a home’s CO levels, a homeowner would have to buy a combustion safety device, which may cost several hundred dollars. In addition, a homeowner would also have to have combustion safety training to avoid improperly repairing a leak. It is a good idea to hire a professional who has this training and the expertise to make the proper repairs. Look for professionals who are Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified. Failure to properly test your home can result in serious damage to your home and your family.
Southern Home Performance
P.O. Box 259
Marietta, GA 30061