Where to Place a Carbon Monoxide Detector

Installing a carbon monoxide detector is the first step toward reducing your family’s risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Homeowners can get more out of their carbon monoxide detectors by identifying ideal locations to place their detectors for maximum effectiveness.

Best Place to Put a Carbon Monoxide Detector

Finding the right spot to put your detector includes a basic chemistry lesson. Carbon monoxide is a gas that is slightly lighter than oxygen. That means it will tend to gather toward a room’s ceiling. Many sources of carbon monoxide also release warm air, like furnaces or car exhaust. Warm air rises, which is another reason carbon monoxide is more likely to rise.

As a result, it is best to place a carbon monoxide detector five feet off the ground or higher. The ceiling is also a good option, depending on the type of monitor you have.

Manufacturers will include information about installing their detectors, as well as information about how to maintain the unit. Some basic care may include:

  • Using the ‘test’ feature on the device regularly
  • How to keep the unit’s sensors clean and working correctly
  • Replacing batteries, if applicable

Carbon Monoxide Risks in the Home

Carbon monoxide occurs as the result of combustion. The modern home produces carbon monoxide in many ways, from gas fireplaces to charcoal grills. Leaks, poor ventilation, and misuse can all contribute to elevated levels of carbon monoxide in the home. Exposure to the gas can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which results in flu-like symptoms and much worse, such as:

  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of balance
  • Memory problems
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of consciousness

400 Americans die of carbon monoxide poisoning per year, with over 4,000 hospitalizations and a further 20,000 emergency room visits.

Best Places for Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Experts recommend installing a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home. Here are a few more tips for strategically placing carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home.

Where to Place a Carbon Monoxide Detector in the Kitchen

The combustion of any fossil fuel emits trace amounts of carbon monoxide that are considered safe in a home with adequate airflow. To avoid setting off your carbon monoxide detector in the kitchen, install it at least 15 feet from a gas stove. The kitchen is an ideal place to install a detector because of the presence of the stove and the tendency for people to gather there.

Where to Place a Carbon Monoxide Detector in the Garage

We recommend placing a detector in the room that connects to your attached garage. By installing the device within 10 feet of the garage door, you’ll be able to monitor carbon monoxide gas that may leak into your home from idling vehicles. We also recommend installing a carbon monoxide detector in the room above your garage, if you have one, to monitor for gas leaking up through the floor.

Where Not to Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector

It can be a delicate balance in placing detectors in rooms where they are needed without installing them too close to possible gas sources. There are a few places in the home to stay away from to avoid inaccurate readings. Try to stay fifteen feet or further from:

  • Fireplaces and woodstoves
  • Stoves and/or ovens
  • Toasters
  • Gas-powered generators

Breathe Safely with One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning

Monitoring for carbon monoxide is just one element in maintaining healthy indoor air quality. From air filtration to duct cleaning, there are many ways One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning can help keep your family breathing safely all year long.

If have questions about carbon monoxide or the indoor air quality of your home, call (800) 893-3523 or request an appointment with one of our trusted technicians today.