Carbon Monoxide Warnings at Home

Carbon Monoxide is something you should be aware of. Over 400 Americans die each year from CO poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (not caused by fires.) CO also leads to more than 20,000 visits to the ER and over 4,000 hospitalizations.

What is carbon monoxide, and what does it do?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is toxic even in small amounts. It is made up of one carbon atom and one oxygen atom.

What causes CO to be poisonous?

Hemoglobin is a chemical found in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to all of the body’s tissues, then returns carbon dioxide (CO2) as a waste product that can be readily expelled and breathed. Carbon monoxide (CO) attaches to hemoglobin about 200 times more easily than oxygen, therefore if CO is present, oxygen will be unable to enter the hemoglobin since the space has been taken up by CO. Sections of the body will be deprived of oxygen as a result, and the damaged parts will die.

What are the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning?

The person may feel as if they have the flu but might not have a fever. If numerous persons in the same building exhibit the same symptoms, they could all be suffering from CO poisoning. All cooking and heating equipment should be switched off, all windows should be opened, and the local gas safety authorities should be alerted if this occurs. The symptoms of CO poisoning become more severe the longer a person is exposed to it. A person may experience loss of balance, vision issues, memory problems, and eventually loss of consciousness within a few hours of first being exposed. If the symptoms are fairly minor, there is a good possibility for a complete recovery. Other symptoms, such as disorientation, memory issues, and coordination difficulties, may appear later, even months after inhaling CO gas. Coronary heart disease is one of the long-term effects of CO poisoning. CO gas poisoning affects people more quickly if they have heart or respiratory difficulties. Pregnant women, infants, and tiny children are especially vulnerable. CO poisoning causes pets to respond swiftly. If a family pet becomes ill or dies abruptly, and the death cannot be attributed to anything else, such as age or a pre-existing ailment, the owners should rule out CO poisoning as a possibility.

What is the source of CO?

In the past, several sections of the country relied on coal-based public gas sources. This gas, which contained carbon monoxide and was extremely toxic when unburned, became a popular method of suicide. Thankfully, the carbon monoxide burned along with the gas and was made harmless. Most direct sources of carbon monoxide (CO) have been restricted since then. CO is still an issue because it is produced to some extent anytime anything burns. Liquid fuels such as gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, or lamp oil; gases such as natural gas, LP gas, or propane; and solid fuels such as wood, paper, charcoal, or cloth are all examples.

Because natural gas (methane) contains no carbon monoxide, it is not dangerous in its unburned state. It’s also lighter than air, so if you give it a chance, it’ll float away.

Fortunately, larger levels of carbon monoxide are only produced when any of these situations occur with natural gas:


While burning, the burner flame “impinges” or touches metal.

The flame consumes less oxygen than it need to burn.

The flame re-burns previously burned air.

This is useful knowledge because many cooks like natural gas and it is commonly used. With gas, heat is evenly distributed, and changes are quick. Because the flames are visible and changeable, the heat is also easier to control. On a household gas stove, an open burner produces almost minimal carbon monoxide, but as soon as a metal pot is placed on the burner, CO output begins to climb. The ends of the burner flames are contacting the metal pot, which causes this.


Is it safe to heat my house with my oven or cooktop?



During the winter, residents keep their homes as warm as possible by closing the doors and windows as tightly as possible. Outside air has very little opportunity of entering the structure as a result of this. As the burners begin to operate, they will begin to burn “used” or oxygen-depleted air that has already been burned (re-burn.) When this happens, the oven will immediately start emitting large amounts of carbon monoxide. The same can be said about stovetop burners. They will eventually burn oxygen-depleted air and produce large amounts of carbon monoxide.


The most dangerous circumstance is re-burn, which is usually the cause of the few true CO fatalities that occur each year. Re-burn can also occur when an exhaust flue malfunctions, is obstructed or disconnected, or is being back-drafted by another source such as an attic or exhaust fan, or an open window on a windy day. The gas burners use oxygen and release carbon dioxide and water vapor as they operate. The oxygen level in the area begins to drop over time, and the flames consume more carbon dioxide and produce enormous amounts of carbon monoxide (CO). When the flames start producing CO, the rate swiftly increases until the inside air becomes fatal.


When used for long periods of time in a tight place, any small non-vented gas heater becomes dangerous due to re-burn. Open flame construction heaters, radiant heaters, overhead linear radiant heaters, and cook stoves are all examples of this.


Any amount of carbon monoxide in the air you breathe should be taken seriously. The long-term consequences of continuous low-level exposure have not been thoroughly studied. There have been no long-term studies that have looked at the overall effects of living in a CO-rich environment. Even safety agencies (both public and private) come to differing judgments about what constitutes a safe level of exposure.


Are there any other CO sources to be aware of?

CO gas can be produced by household appliances such as gas-fired boilers, central heating systems, water heaters, stoves, and open fires that use gas, oil, coal, or wood. A blocked flue in a wood-burning fireplace can be fatal. Within 10 minutes, CO poisoning can be caused by an idle car engine in a confined location.


If household appliances are properly maintained and utilized securely, they should emit very little CO gas. CO emissions are increased when aging appliances are used and not serviced on a regular basis.

CO levels in the blood grow as a result of smoking cigarettes. CO gas is produced when charcoal is burned. CO cannot escape through clogged flues and chimneys. CO poisoning can be caused by fumes from certain paint removers and cleaning products. Methylene chloride (dichloromethane)-containing products should be handled with caution since when breathed in, it converts to CO.

A Dozen Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

We spend the majority of our time in the privacy of our own houses. As a result, we should breathe clean, fresh indoor air that is devoid of bacteria and germs.

The air inside our homes is sometimes more polluted than the air outside. Long-term exposure to dirty air can have serious health consequences for both adults and children. In reality, it is detrimental to people who have asthma, chronic bronchitis, COPD, and other respiratory illnesses.

As a result, in addition to controlling outdoor air pollution, it is critical and equally necessary to take steps to enhance indoor air quality.

We’ve compiled a list of simple techniques to assist enhance indoor air quality. So, without further ado, let’s have a look at these indicators.

Simple Steps to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Purchase an Air Purifier

This is one of the most effective methods for purifying your home’s air. There are a variety of air purifiers on the market. Choose the best bargain and display it in the most visited location of your home.

Allergens that cause allergies and other respiratory problems are captured by ionic air purifiers. In addition, purchase a dehumidifier for the wet regions of your home. It aids in the prevention of mold formation. During the summer, a dehumidifier will keep the humidity levels in check.

Another source of moisture is your bathroom. As a result, it should always be ventilated and dehumidified.


To keep the air quality high, sufficient ventilation and airflow are required. It is recommended that you open your house’s doors and windows on a frequent basis to allow air to circulate. The stale air is removed and replaced with fresh air. Even during the frigid winter months, do this to bring fresh air into your home.

If you live in a filthy and congested metropolis, however, the inside air will be even more polluted. In such instances, open the windows late at night or early in the morning when pollution levels are at their lowest.

A trickling ventilator could be installed near your doors or windows. Filters in these devices clean and purify the air that enters your home. Because cooking is the biggest source of indoor air pollution, the best spot to put ventilators is in your kitchen. Furthermore, these gadgets improve your cooking experience by preventing the unpleasant odor of burned spices, which can cause respiratory problems.

Keep Air Conditioners Clean

Air conditioners remove moisture from the air and refresh stale air. This aids in the effective improvement of indoor air quality. Furthermore, all modern air conditioners make use of the most cutting-edge technologies and air-cleaning filters. Impurities, pollen, dust, germs, and bacteria are all removed by these filters.

However, you must clean these filters on a regular basis to avoid compromising the quality of the air in your home. The directions for cleaning the filters are listed in the manual that came with the air conditioner.

Clean House

At home, dust and filth contribute to poor air quality. They not only induce allergies, but they also make you weary and drowsy. Fabrics, such as sheets, bedding, cushions, pillows, and curtains, are the most common sources of these pollutants. They also persist for a long time until the clothes are cleaned.

As a result, you should wash and clean your linens, curtains, and other objects on a frequent basis. When washing, use hot water because it is capable of eradicating germs and viruses. This is also required to keep one’s health and hygiene in good working order.

If you have pets, you should vacuum your bed, sofa, and floor on a regular basis to avoid pet hair accumulation. Respiratory discomfort and allergies are caused primarily by this.

Vacuuming the rugs and carpet area at least once or twice a week is recommended. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to get the best results when it comes to cleaning pollutants. Remove clutter as well, as it collects dust and contaminants.

Indoor Plants Can Be Beneficial

Indoor plants give a splash of color to your home’s interior design. They are, nonetheless, susceptible of accumulating and producing mold. You should avoid them because they raise the degree of air pollution in your home.

Some indoor plants, on the other hand, help to improve interior air quality by releasing oxygen. They clean the air by removing contaminants, letting you to breathe in fresh, clean air. Let’s have a look at a few of these plants in action.

  • Bamboo Palm
  • English Ivy
  • Gerbera Daisy
  • Corn Plant


Make Use of Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies

To clean your house, you’ll need cleaning supplies. These items will aid in the removal of dust and other contaminants. However, make sure the cleaning solutions you choose are devoid of chemicals and composed of non-toxic materials. These substances may leave a residue that degrades air quality.

Make sure the goods are environmentally friendly and safe to use, especially if they will be used near youngsters. To make your home gleam, use natural cleaning products such as lemon, baking soda, and vinegar. There are no poisonous or dangerous residues left behind by these products.

Laundry detergents and bathroom cleansers should also be fragrance-free, as fragrances can irritate asthma and allergy sufferers.

No Smoking Inside the House

Smoking should not be allowed inside your home. Also, do not allow visitors or other members of your family to smoke in your home. Cigarettes emit second-hand smoke, which not only stinks but also poses serious health hazards such as lung cancer and asthma. If you must smoke, it is recommended that you take a break and smoke outside.

Beeswax Candles

Negative ions released by beeswax candles have cleansing qualities. Airborne pollutants and impurities contain positively charged ions. As a result, when these candles are burned, negative ions are released, causing the positive ions to fall out of suspension.

Furthermore, beeswax candles are completely natural and free of toxins. They improve air quality while adding a pleasant scent to the environment. Also, because these candles burn slowly, you won’t have to refill them as frequently.

Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps

If you don’t want to use candles, a salt lamp is an alternative. Place a light source in a big mass of Himalayan pink salt to make these lamps. When ignited, the salt generates negative ions, which suck pollutants from the surroundings.

The negative ions will counteract the positive ions produced by allergens and pollutants. This is a helpful method for minimizing asthma symptoms. There have been instances of asthma sufferers experiencing fewer symptoms.

Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal is a non-toxic approach to improve air quality. It’s been around for a long time.

Activated carbon filters are included in many air purifier filters to remove pollutants and impurities from the air. Activated charcoal is also found in HEPA filters found in vacuum cleaners and air conditioners. As a result, it is a quick and efficient solution to improve indoor air quality.

Water Leaks

Mold can form as a result of water leaks, lowering air quality. Allergy and asthma sufferers are also affected. As a result, make sure there are no leaks at home.

If you detect a leak in your appliances, call a specialist right away to have it fixed. This will help to enhance the quality of the air while also keeping you and your family safe.

Remove Shoes at the Door

Shoes transport coal tar, dust, pollen, poisons, bacteria, and other contaminants into your home, so don’t wear them inside. You wouldn’t want to bring outside pollutants inside your home, would you? As a result, take your shoes off and leave them outside.

A Solution for Overheated Attics

Your home’s roof structure is similar to your skin. The roof’s surface is heated by the sun’s rays. Through conduction, the entire bulk of the roof (roofing, roof paper, nails, sheathing, and rafters) warms up. The structural mass of the roof will soon get so heated that it will radiate heat on its own (like the sun). This radiant heat travels through the attic space and strikes the material on the ceiling structure’s surface (insulation, wood joists, drywall, ducting etc.). The entire mass of the ceiling structure suddenly transforms into a massive heat radiator. This heat returns to the roof, where it will continue to emit heat long after the sun has set. Much of this heat will radiate downward into your home if your ceiling is not airtight and exceptionally well insulated.

Air in the attic that comes into contact with the hot frame surfaces will be heated by conduction. A heated air sandwich is generated between the roof and ceiling structures as a result of this. The attic interior becomes substantially hotter than the outside temperature due to the heat of all these surfaces.

Some roofing materials would be affected by trapped air and heat in the attic. It could also result in condensation, which could lead to mold problems. This is why ventilation must be included into the building of attic areas. The lower eave portions and the top roof ridge or gable end have air holes. Fresher, colder outside air circulates naturally through convection up from the eaves and out through the gable or ridge vents through these apertures.

Any HVAC equipment located in an overheated attic will be under constant stress and may not last as long due to the overtaxing of its systems.

If your home has a heated attic and ceilings in the summer, a system, not just a powered attic exhaust fan or ventilator, is the answer. A design that includes radiant barriers and sufficient ventilation should be considered to eliminate a hot attic. This is always best done when the house is being built. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to adapt this construction once it has been built.

What you need to do is keep the heat from escaping into the house. A completely sealed ceiling, a very thick layer of insulation, radiant barriers (reflective foil layers) above the insulation (preferably between the rafters) to block the radiation and isolate your hot attic from your cool house, additional ventilation openings, and possibly a powered attic fan to remove warm air from the attic at the proper exchange rate are all likely requirements for your plan.

Consider the conditioned-space attic, which is an even better option. Using foam insulation placed to the pitched roof, create a conditioned space in your attic. This resulted in a perfectly cool attic, lower electricity bills, and easier temperature control in the second-floor rooms. Despite the fact that this layout was a little more expensive, it provided a completely cool and comfortable second level.