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What Causes Carbon Monoxide?


Question: What Causes Carbon Monoxide?
I am asked what causes carbon monoxide. Where exactly does it come from and how can we avoid it in our homes?

What Causes Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is caused by the incomplete combustion of fuels being burned. This process produces a gas that fills the area of your home, garage, or outbuilding, endangering both people and animals as well.

Carbon Monoxide Threats in Garages and Out Buildings

In garages in homes, the internal combustion engines of automobile, generators, lawn mowers, snow blowers, etc... are blamed for many deaths every year. Let us not forget oil burners, wood burners, and portable heaters that use a variety of fuels to produce space heating. Ventilation in these areas are key to the release of these deadly gases.

Carbon Monoxide Threats in Homes

Sources of carbon monoxide threats in homes include natural and propane gas heaters, wood, corn and coal burning stoves, gas ranges, gas ovens, kerosene heaters, ventless gas heaters, and gas water heaters.

Vehicle Emissions...Are They Carbon Monoxide?

On average, a car burning one gallon of gasoline will emit about 2.9 pounds of carbon monoxide, being lighter than air, carbon monoxide forms and rises in the air. Without proper ventilation, it accumulates from the ceiling down.

The bluish-white gas exhaust fumes that you see and smell coming from the exhaust of you car, lawn mower, etc... are not carbon monoxide gas. You remember what I just told you, right? Carbon monoxide cannot be seen, smelled or tasted. The smoke you see being emitted is actually unburned oil and carbon particles and the odor is from the presence of aldehydes in the exhaust.

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