Not trying to be rude, but yes carbon dioxide, not carbon monoxide, and
where can I buy a sensor?
As a veteran confined to my home, I have time to think and act only in my
small corner of the world. Since I am in my home almost 24 hours a day, 7
days a week, I would like to maximize the health I have. I exercise and get
fresh air outside my back door, but as it gets cold, I spend much more time
inside. So the subject line is my question and how do I monitor it.
I ask because this month when the furnace 1st kicked on I had to have a
repair person deal with a carbon monoxide issue, so now I have 3 carbon
monoxide detectors, 1 in the furnace roon, 1 in my bedroom and one in the
main room of the house.
Thanks in Advance!
I an at a loss to understand why your worried about CO2. Get some plants and
"forget-about-it". I doubt that your home is tight enough to be a problem
with CO2. All of the detectors I have used for CO2 were multi testing units
costing thousands of dollars. We use those in confined spaces.
Copied from http://www.tsi.com/vent/faq/qcheck/answers/diox2.htm
"ASHRAE standard 62-1989 recommends a maximum CO2 level of 1000 ppm. The
proposed new OSHA standard (29CFR Part 1910.1033) calls for investigation if
the CO2 level exceeds 800 ppm of CO2."
http://www.qasupply.com/hancardioxme.html has a meter, but it's a bit
For a few years I worked part time for a medical oxygen supplier. I did
tests on equipment used in people's homes, mostly for oxygen. I never found
a difference in carbon dioxide by more than a half percent or so. Relax and
enjoy your life.
Every situation is different and yes, you do not normally have to
worry about it unless...
Are you using any of the new non-vented heating appliances? Kerosene
heaters and so forth...
Like any combustion process... These heaters do consume oxygen and
produce CO2 as a by-product. The code requires that they have oxygen
depletion sensors that will automatically shut off the unit if oxygen
is not present in the atmosphere in the correct proportion (around 20
CO (Carbon Monoxide) is deadly because it robs your bloodstream of
oxygen and it can and has killed many people because of a mis-adjusted
furnace - or a leak in the combustion chamber, or a bar-b-que grill
cooking indoors. It is caused by an incomplete combustion process
usually with a lack of sufficient oxygen to properly burn whatever
fuel is being used.
CO2 gas (Carbon Dioxide) is not poisonous like Carbon Monoxide, but
it too can be deadly in large concentrations (if it displaces the
normal 20-21% level of oxygen in the air). Kerosene, Natural Gas,
Oil, and Propane heaters all produce lots of CO2 (when properly
adjusted) and vent this combustion gas to the outside air. As
mentioned above, there are some newer appliances that are non-vented
that may safely be used by following the manufactuers safety
The room level of CO2 varies widely. Outside air has about 0.03% CO2. The
air in your lungs has about 5% CO2. For short term exposure anything under
5% is probably ok. For the long term anything under 1% is the govt.
recommendation I think.
Carbon dioxide, like nitrogen, is not toxic. You don't need to
worry about it's concentration. It only becomes a problem when it
displaces oxygen. What you want is an oxygen sensor that tells you
the oxygen level. Make sure the air in your house contains no less
than 19.5% of oxygen. Forget about the carbon dioxide level.
On Fri, 03 Dec 2004 16:49:16 GMT, "1_Patriotic_Guy"
There is no reason to be concerned about carbon dioxide. It is not a
poisonous gas, but it is a waste product of all animals. CO2 is
normally at about 330 ppm (parts per million) or about 0.033% of our
atmosphere. Any kind of combustion produces CO2. If you are
concerned about CO2 or other waste gases, house plants will help
(spider plant, philodendron, etc.) A device to measure oxygen levels
is probably more important.
You are way too paranoid. So you deal with the carbon monoxide from
the furnace. Now that it is fixed where are you going to get CO, so
why do you have 3 detectors? Did you have a detector before the
furnace was fixed? if not why didn't you die? The fact is that
deaths due to CO are relatively rare in homes and mostly confined to
people doing very stupid things and the small remainder are due to
extremely poor maintenance of fuel burning furnaces.
OTOH, deaths due to high carbon dioxide levels, is not only rare, it
is essentially non-existent. It is probably impossible to have high
levels of carbon dioxide in any house that has windows and doors that
open. Most houses leak a minimum of 10 percent volume per day, which
avoids any CO2 build up.
Manufactures of CO detectors jumped on the bandwagon and make a lot of
money hyping CO hysteria and selling a product that is virtually
useless to the average person. In contrast to some other
commenters, there are CO2 detectors available at a cost no much
greater than a CO detector. And of course, you could have just bought
one CO detector and waited and go a CO and a CO2 combined detector for
less than the cost of the other two CO detector you bought. These are
becoming more and more common in the big box stores and are always
available at RV stores (trailers and motorhomes) the danger level is
several factors greater than in a home.
I knew someone on the ground floor of a NYC apt building who died of CO.
Last year, I woke up at 2 AM to my CO detector alarm and a headache and
went downstairs and found I had shoveled a few red coals out of the
woodstove and into the ash bucket...
Most houses leak a min 10% per HOUR, but maybe not, on a still day
with equal indoor and outdoor temps. A 60% humidistat or 0.1% CO2
detector might turn on a vent fan as needed.
Where? The cheapest I've seen is about $500, vs a $40 CO detector.
There may be a cheaper Japanese CO2 detector in the near future.
I've looked at the statistics and it appears that no one
agrees on the statistics. That said, I accept your 150
people dying a year but that is essentially an insignificant
figure for deaths in the large scheme and means that the
danger is insignificant compared to other causes of death.
Do you worry about being struck by lightening or use a
lightening detector? Do you avoid water for fear of
drowning? Of those 150 people dying at least 100 died
because of doing something foolish like using a hibachi in
the house for heat. If you want something to be concerned
with, worry about smoking, drinking, driving, falls in the
bathroom, drowning, poisonings (intentional), food poison,
etc. Nonetheless, you will probably die of circulatory
disease or a cancer. The chances of you dying of CO or even
getting sick is minuscule. Hell there are salesmen and
people that even believe you should have a CO detector if
you have an electric heating system.
Heating equipment, as well as plumbing and general
electricity and the failing structure of a house do tell you
when something is going wrong. Most people just don't
paying attention or recognize that something is wrong and
put off doing something about it.
George thousands of people get sick from Co, not from being stupid or
negligent, just from lack of knowledge you and I posess.
My 82 year old neighbor complained to me of headaches, I thought she
was just a complainer, then as an idea I brought over my Co meter, It
registered 150, she got the furnace guy out who was out the last year
and he found big cracks in the exchanger and replaced the furnace. Many
older people cannot smell well and dismiss symptoms of Co as a cold. A
worker of mine complained of being sick, I loaned him my Co meter, it
was a partialy blocked flue. Birds sit on chimneys to get warm, die and
fall in. Equipment breaks, things happen . Co meters save lives and
keep people informed before big problems happen.
I have a CO meter; my wife insisted on it when we got a gas
furnace. But I still think it is silly for most people and
manufacture and sales is mostly just an opportunity for
someone to make money.
I take your point about old people. Eyesight and hearing
deteriorate to the point that they really can't know what is
going on, so a CO meter may be a good think for them.
However, most people can hear a change in motor sounds,
smell a change in air quality, detect a new odor, etc. My
feeling is that since the problem is so minor, if they just
don't care enough to investigate, let Darwin have his way.
CO isn't the only thing that kills, and those same
unconscious people probably have all sorts of toxic
chemicals under the sink easily available to their toddlers.
The number of kids dying from poisonings each year makes
CO poisoning a minuscule problem. The number of kids
wandering around unwatched and falling in canals, ponds, and
swimming pools to drowned also makes CO deaths minor. When
the house is burning down, you shouldn't be fixing a squeaky
George, Heating equipment does not "tell" you when Co is being released
because of a cracked exchanger, poor draft or racoon in the chimney, I
had a racoon in my chimney.
Co detectors do. They save enough lives in Chicago that they are
mandatory in apartment buildings. The proved thenselves to me when the
exaust blower motor on my 117000 btu water heater failed. They should
be mandatory, Co does not smell and burnt NG can be decieving
I agree that multifamily and commercial buildings should
have CO detection. They couldn't have saved many lives
though if only 150 per year in the U.S. died of CO.
Shouldn't a failed exhaust blower shut down the water
heater? Sounds like a failure of the safety features.
Considering the minimal cost of a CO detector, why are you argueing
against having one? I just got two for about $20 each. Very cheap
insurance and if it is your family even one death from co is too much.
Glad you asked. Cheap? not on a nation wide basis. Even
one death, yes if it is your family, but no if it is someone
Here are the numbers for home injuries: 20,000 deaths and
21 million hospital visits per year. Every family should
have a CO detector right? over 200 million in the U.S.
about 2.5 people per family. So if every family spends 25
bucks that is still $2 billion for the nation. And this is
to prevent 150 deaths per year and ?? 3000 hospital visits?
The U.S. doesn't spend $2 billion per year on the
prevention of much of any kind of death regardless of the
You want to protect your family? for get the CO detector
and spend $70 on a good ladder. Spend $20 on a good GFI. I
could keep going, but after you spend about $100,000 on
safety devices, then spend your $20 for a CO meter. And
don't forget, you need to do that every 4-5 years.
I don't have any argument on an individual basis for buying
and using a CO detector, but to advocate that purchase for
all families is downright wasteful. Spending that kind of
money on preventative medicine would be far more valuable to
the nation. In fact, just a small fraction of that kind of
money could save hundred or thousand of lives in each state
by just making inoculations available for free.
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