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Carbon Monoxide – Frequently Asked Questions

I have a CO alarm in my house, shouldn’t this warn me if there is a problem?
If you purchased your alarm from a store, it will usually only warn you of a life threatening condition. If you read the fine print on the product’s UL listing, you’ll find it offers little protection for children, the elderly, or persons with existing illnesses or CO sensitivity.
 
What level of carbon monoxide can be harmful?
According to the World Health Organization, 15-20 ppm is the first level of CO that can affect us. Levels as low as 30 ppm have been discovered to cause heart problems. Store CO alarms do not have to activate until they see 70 ppm for 3-1/2 hours!
 
What type of alarm should I have then?
Ask your contractor for a low-level monitor that alerts you at levels beginning at 5 ppm. Make sure it’s battery operated and visually tells you it’s working 24/7.
 
Can’t I just call my gas company if I think I have a problem?
Would you call the gas station if you had a problem with your car? Gas companies are well versed in fuel leaks, but their main business is not appliance service and few of them are Certified CO/Combustion Analysts.
 
How do I know if my contractor is a Certified CO/Combustion Analyst?
You can ask to see his NCI wallet card, plus you will recognize his level of expertise and ability to explain to you what he is doing.
Why do I need a low-level monitor?
The NSI low level monitor senses CO levels as low as 5 ppm (parts per million). Infants, children, elderly, persons with respiratory or heart ailments are provided little or no protection from deadly CO with standard alarms. Long term exposure to Low-level CO above 15 ppm can cause illness and even permanent disabilities.
 
What about the other “detectors” sold at retailers and home centers?
Store-bought detectors don’t alarm until unsafe levels of 70 ppm or higher are present at the unit for 3-1/2 hours! By then it may be too late. Plug-in models don’t always allow for proper placement and don’t work during power outages. The NSI 3000 is battery powered for 24/7 protection.
 
Why is the NSI 3000 more expensive than the others?
Accurate, low-level CO detection requires more expensive components & quality control. The NSI 3000 CO monitor uses the same technology and sensors as in professional-grade CO analyzers used by contractors, fire departments, and utilities.And NSI’s unique Continuous Scan™ mode lets you know the monitor is operational 24/7!
 
How many monitors should I have in my home?
As with smoke detectors, you should have one monitor installed on every level of your home. Even a single story home may need two, one at each end.
 
Where should I place the NSI monitor?
CO is lighter than air. Monitors should be mounted at eye level and no lower. They should be placed in an area with good air circulation. If you have only one monitor it should be placed near the master bedroom. Additional locations include your kitchen, nursery, basement, rooms with fireplaces or gas logs, and near your heating system and/or hot water tank.Your professional installation contractor will determine the best location in your home.
What should I do if my monitor goes off?
Call your CO-Certified contractor at any level below 70 ppm, unless you have symptoms. CO exposure can cause nausea, severe headache, shortness of breath, chest pain, blurred vision, and dizziness. If you experience these symptoms call 911 and leave the house immediately. Above 70ppm, evacuate immediately. If you have symptoms, call 911 from a neighbors house. Call your utility to turn off the equipment until your COCertified contractor can investigate the source of carbon monoxide.
The NSI 3000 Offers Real Protection:
  • Continuous Scan™ mode lets you know monitor is checking for CO – 24/7
  • Digital display shows CO levels of 5ppm or higher
  • Low Alarm – 15 ppm – audible & visual every 8 seconds
  • High Alarm – 35 ppm – audible & visual every 4 seconds
  • Crisis Alarm – 70+ ppm – audible & visual every 2 seconds
  • 5-minute “Hush” button for levels below 70 ppm
  • Designed for wall installation or tabletop use
  • Replaceable 9V battery enures operation even when power is out
  • 2-Year limited Warranty
What Should I Expect from my Heating Contractor?
As a consumer you should expect your contractor to be trained in current technology that makes sure you’re heating system is safe, comfortable and efficient. These are probably things you may expect are mandatory, but unfortunately they’re not. The number one benefit of having an NCI Certified CO/Combustion Analyst test your home and appliances for carbon monoxide is his extensive training and knowledge. Your contractor should be trained to measure the safety and efficiency of all your combustion equipment, even appliances that he doesn’t normally sell or service. Thorough testing can also verify that your equipment is operating at peak efficiency and provide the lowest operating costs. Finally, he should provide you with documentation that explains what he has found and what corrections have been or need to be performed. He should also provide you with material to better educate you about carbon monoxide sources and health effects.
Wighton’s provides Comfort You Can Trust on the Central Coast. You can contact them at (805) 543-4881 or by visiting www.wightons.com.

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