How to Test a Home for Fumes

Written by louis gutierrez
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How to Test a Home for Fumes
Air quality sensors look like smoke alarm sensors. (Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Testing the air quality in your home is important to prevent inhalation of dangerous chemical fumes. While you may depend on your sense of odour to detect fumes, this does not always work. Many toxic chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, are odourless, and the only way to detect them is with a special sensor. Installing an air quality sensor and testing a home for fumes is a simple process and is well worth the effort.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Self-drilling drywall anchors

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Put the mount on the ceiling or near the top of the wall. Mark the screw holes with your pencil. Fumes tend to rise, so the sensor will be more effective the higher it is. Make sure the sensor is close to a power outlet if you do not have a hard-wired set-up for the sensor.

  2. 2

    Drill the self-drilling drywall anchors into the marked screw holes.

  3. 3

    Secure the mount to the anchors with the screws that come with the self-drilling drywall anchors.

  4. 4

    Push the sensor onto the mount. Plug in the power supply cable to the sensor and plug it into the outlet. Follow the manufacturers directions to test the fumes. If you hear an audible alarm, there are dangerous fumes present. Open the windows and doors and leave the house immediately.

Tips and warnings

  • Various brands of sensors may have slightly different installation directions. Follow the instructions that come with your sensor.
  • Test your sensor periodically to ensure it is still functional. Most sensors come with a test button you simply need to press and then listen for a series of beeps.
  • If you are particularly concerned about a gas leak or other fumes in your home, contact your local gas company or company responsible for the chemical you're worried about and ask for a professional to test your home.

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