Carbon Monoxide Headquarters
Misconceptions, Page 1, Dr. D.G. Penney

CO is not Well Understood:


Properties, Presence & Detection:

  • CO is easy to detect.

  • CO is lighter than air and therefore rises (to the ceiling) and stays there. See Answer

  • CO is not combustible.

  • CO and natural gas are the same thing.

  • Natural gas contains considerable amounts of CO.

  • You can always tell if CO is present because of a peculiar odor that will be present. See Answer

  • A brand new, well designed, perfectly "tuned" heating/cooking device cannot produce toxic/lethal amounts of CO.

  • Diesel engine exhaust never contains enough CO to cause harm.

  • HVAC and gas company service personnel always check for CO when performing maintenance/service on home heating systems.

  • CO will be detected immediately by service personnel if it is present in a home heating system.

  • When your home CO detector shows low levels of CO, it is probably just an instrument malfunction.

  • Cracks in heat exchangers are responsible for the production of CO.

  • Home CO detectors/sensors are the best devices to ferret out CO because they react to very low levels of the gas.

    ...... Last changed 04/17/02

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