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How Carbon Monoxide Gets Into A Home

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Being impossible to detect by both sight and smell, carbon monoxide represents one of the most serious domestic health threats. Fortunately, by educating yourself about how carbon monoxide can get into a house, you can do wonders to prevent it. If you would like to improve your understanding of how this deadly gas works, read on. This article will discuss three potential carbon monoxide sources in your home.

Gas Stoves

Gas stoves have a tendency to develop internal corrosion over time. This is the result of water vapor being released by cooking foods. The problem is that should such corrosion makes its way into the burner element, it can start to block off the air inlet valves. Should the problem become severe enough, there may not be enough air in the burner to combust all of the gas.

When this happens, carbon monoxide--a naturally occurring part of raw gas--may begin escaping into the air of your home. It may be tempting to believe that your exhaust fan will help remove this carbon monoxide. While it's true that the vent will suck the carbon monoxide up, the unvented nature of such fans means that the gas will end up being ejected back into your home. It's best to be on the safe side and install a carbon monoxide detector somewhere in your kitchen.


Unless your home is heated electrically, your furnace represents another significant entry point for carbon monoxide. This can arise in much the same way as with a gas stove. Here soot and other combustion by-products build up inside of the combustion chamber over time. Eventually these can impede your furnace's ability to draw fresh air into the chamber, thus increasing the risk of incomplete combustion.

This problem can be kept at bay by having a trained HVAC repair person from a company like Dale's Heating & Appliance give your combustion chamber a good cleaning on an annual basis. At that time, they will also be able to inspect your flue pipe for any holes or cracks. This is another common way that carbon monoxide, present in the furnace's exhaust gas, can escape into the air of your home. Only by attending to necessary heating repairs in a timely manner can you prevent carbon monoxide from threatening your well being.


Gas and even charcoal grills generate carbon monoxide. Most people don't stop to consider the potential risk in this, given the fact that grills are always used outside. Yet if your grill is placed too close to your house, carbon monoxide can easily find itself way in through open windows, doors, and even air vents. To reduce the threat this poses, be sure that your grill is placed as far from your home--and your neighbor's--as possible.