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How To Test For Carbon Monoxide In Your Home?

Carbon monoxide is called the silent killer because of its power to harm. However, most of the people do not care about the gas, unfortunately. As a result, every year a lot of people suffer from different types of breathing difficulties and other problems.

That is why as a smart person, you should be careful about this gas. To be careful about the gas, you need to know how to test for carbon monoxide in your home. There are several ways you can follow but you need to make sure you test for it and take all the necessary steps.

Table of Contents

Can Carbon Monoxide kill you?

As you know carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. As a result, even if it is in the air, you rarely understand its presence until you get sick. You can have Chest tightness or shortness of breath, Tiredness Nausea, Confusion, Headaches, and Dizziness. Even breathing CO in excessive amounts can kill you.

How does Carbon Monoxide start at home?

Carbon monoxide is produced from incomplete burning of gas, oil, charcoal, coal, and wood fuels. It is more common in the improper vented older furnaces, full HVAC systems, and gas water heaters. However, fully burned gas or oil or proper vented HVAC system or furnaces are not the sources of carbon monoxide.

The main source of carbon monoxide at your home is artificial heating. When you try to heat your home artificially, this gas is produced. Also, some other common sources of this gas are.

  • Gas clothes dryers
  • Gas ranges and stoves
  • Gas water heaters
  • Fireplaces
  • Portable fuel-burning space heaters
  • Wood-burning stoves
  • Charcoal/gas grilles
  • Vehicles running in an attached garage

What are the ways of testing carbon monoxide in your home?

Now you know the sources of carbon monoxide gas. But how to test for carbon monoxide in your home easily so that you can take the necessary steps? Well, here are some ways to testing CO gas.

Carbon monoxide detector

The easiest, accurate, and most effective way to test carbon monoxide gas is a carbon monoxide detector. Like the propane gas detector or natural gas detector, the market has a carbon monoxide detector as well. Nowadays, a lot of people are now using carbon monoxide detectors for safety. Even many building codes demand you to have a carbon monoxide detector in every flat.

However, the problem with these detectors is that they are not capable of detecting at an early stage and cannot serve for a long distance. As a result, if carbon monoxide is emitting from the furnace room, it might not give you accurate results at the early stage.

Carbon monoxide meter

That is where a carbon monoxide meter comes. It is not like a CO detector, however, there are some similarities. You can simply take the meter to the suspected sources and turn it on. The device will automatically run the test and tells you whether you have CO gas emission or not. It will provide you with more accurate results at an early stage.

Indoor air quality test

Another useful test you can apply is an indoor air quality test. In this test, you need to hire companies to test the air quality of your home. Even some municipal fire departments can help you check the air quality of your home for free. These companies use the toxic multi-gas monitor to find out the CO gas.

The best part about this tool is that they can test from 0 PPM, meaning that you even there is a small leakage of CO gas that cannot be detected with CO detector or meter, this tool can help. Also, you will get other air pollutants tests for free with this CO test.

HVAC combustion analysis

If you find out that the emission is from HVAC sources, you can contact the HVAC Company to run the test to check CO presence. They generally use a tool called a combustion analyzer. This tool tests the vented gasses coming from the HVAC sources directly. It tests the ratio of carbon monoxide to oxygen in your home. You need to remember here that this tool tests directly emitted CO from an HVAC. So never expect to get an overall home air quality check from it. This device is too expensive for personal use.

How often should you test?

Actually, it depends on the risk of carbon monoxide emission. However, in general, once in every 6 months is recommended. But you can do it more if you want for additional safety if you have any risk of CO emission.

What you should do to prevent it?

You know, prevention is always better than cure. That is why you should do whatever possible to prevent CO emission. In that case, you can follow these tips.

Make sure you open the flue all the time during the use of a fireplace.

Be careful when using wood-burning stoves: all the time, use the stoves with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certification.

Do not leave your car turned on in your garage. Many people leave the car turn it on in the winter to warm it up before driving. You should do it outside.

Try to use the type of right fuel in your heaters all the time for efficiency and CO reducing.

Inspect and clean your furnace and entire heating system each year by a professional.

Make sure all of your gas appliances are alright and try to inspect them regularly.

If you have any leaks in your central heating system, call the professional and repair it as quickly as possible.

Do not use charcoal grills and gasoline-powered machines indoors.


To prevent any big hazard caused by carbon monoxide, you should know how to test for carbon monoxide in your home. Now you know how to do it. From now, you should do it regularly so that nothing big can happen and you can remain safe with your family. Carbon monoxide can harm all the people and pets of your family, especially to an older and sick person. So make sure you do it on a regular basis.

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