Carbon monoxide is a product of combustion. Any combustion will give it off. Car exhaust is a well-known source, but so are wood fires and gas appliances—stoves, fireplaces, and water heaters, for example. Poor ventilation in closed space leads to most carbon monoxide poisoning.
The most common source of CO poisoning is unvented space heaters in the home. An unvented space heater uses combustible fuel and indoor air for the heating process. It vents the gases it makes into the room, instead of outdoors.
Those at high risk include young children, older adults, people with lung or heart disease, people who are at high altitudes, and smokers. Carbon monoxide can harm a fetus (unborn baby still in the womb).
Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation primarily come from burning fossil fuel for our cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes.
Clothes dryers. Water heaters. Furnaces or boilers. Fireplaces, both gas and wood burning.
Household appliances — such as gas fires, boilers, central heating systems, water heaters, cookers, and open fires that use gas, oil, coal, and wood — may be possible sources of CO gas. Due to poor maintenance, ventilation, or other technical faults, they may produce the gas.
If the carbon monoxide concentration in the air is much higher, signs of poisoning may occur within 1-2 hours. A very high carbon monoxide concentration can even kill an exposed individual within 5 minutes.
Opening a window will slow carbon monoxide poisoning, but it likely won't stop it. There simply isn't enough airflow through most windows to get rid of the poisonous gas, and it could take between four and eight hours for the CO to dissipate entirely.
CO is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it.
A carbon monoxide detector is a must for any home and just as important as a smoke detector. CO detectors should be placed near all bedrooms; they're the only way you will know if carbon monoxide is affecting the air quality in your home, and can help prevent serious illness and even death.
Signs of a carbon monoxide leak in your house or home
Stale, stuffy, or smelly air, like the smell of something burning or overheating. Soot, smoke, fumes, or back-draft in the house from a chimney, fireplace, or other fuel burning equipment. The lack of an upward draft in chimney flue. Fallen soot in fireplaces.
There's a myth that carbon monoxide alarms should be installed lower on the wall because carbon monoxide is heavier than air. In fact, carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air and diffuses evenly throughout the room.
At higher concentrations, CO poisoning can make you pass out and can even be fatal. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above — or suspect that there might be a carbon monoxide leak in your home — you should leave your home immediately, get fresh air and call a poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
Studies by the Centers for Disease Control found that CO concentrations reach the Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) concentration of 1,200 parts per million (ppm) in only 7 minutes when a small 5 horsepower gasoline engine is run in a 10,000 cubic foot room.
The CO alarm sounds if your sensor detects a buildup of carbon monoxide in your home—usually before you start sensing symptoms. With a low CO level (50 ppm), it may take up to eight hours for the alarm to go off. Higher carbon monoxide levels (over 150 ppm) can trigger an alarm within minutes.
The short answer is no, air conditioners are unable to produce carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide can only be emitted from fuel-burning devices. AC units run on electricity, so there's no possible way for them to produce carbon monoxide. This doesn't mean your home is completely safe from carbon monoxide leaks.
No, carbon monoxide has no smell. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that's a byproduct of combustion. As a homeowner, this means it can leak from your gas furnace, stove, dryer, and water heater as well as wood stove/fireplace.
The half-life of carboxyhemoglobin in fresh air is approximately 4 hours. To completely flush the carbon monoxide from the body requires several hours, valuable time when additional damage can occur.
Carbon Monoxide Detection Systems Mobile App
The Carbon Monoxide Detection Systems Checklist mobile app inspects Carbon Monoxide Detection Systems using an iPad, iPhone, Android device, or a Windows desktop.
A carbon monoxide blood test is used to detect carbon monoxide poisoning. Poisoning can happen if you breathe air that contains too much carbon monoxide (CO). This gas has no color, odor, or taste, so you can't tell when you are breathing it.
Because carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air and also because it may be found with warm, rising air, detectors should be placed on a wall about 5 feet above the floor. The detector may be placed on the ceiling. Do not place the detector right next to or over a fireplace or flame-producing appliance.