Air purifiers can help drastically reduce the amount of dangerous contaminants like dust and pollen in your home, but can they do anything about the odorless and colorless gas that is carbon monoxide?
Unfortunately, while air purifiers can easily remove airborne particle returns thanks to their powerful filters, they can’t really have an effect on carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide can be emitted from certain fuel-using appliances, many of which can be found in your household–such as gas furnaces, water heaters and fireplaces. Take caution with those especially in non-ventilated areas: an air purifier simply can’t save you from it!
Can Air Purifiers Remove Carbon Monoxide?
While most experts agree that an air purifier can help absorb these common pollutants, can they really take on the less common—but far more dangerous—carbon monoxide?
Unfortunately, the answer is no; while air purifiers can handle some trace amounts of carbon monoxide, they should not be considered a reliable guard against larger gas leaks.
It is always best to use other methods such as carbon monoxide detectors to keep homes safe from this harmful gas.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas that is produced when fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil are burned. It is commonly produced by cars, trucks, and other vehicles, as well as by heating and cooking appliances.
CO is toxic to humans and animals because it can bind to the hemoglobin in our blood and prevent it from carrying oxygen to the body’s tissues. This can lead to a lack of oxygen in the body, leading to symptoms such as headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, and eventually coma and death.
There are several sources of CO in the home, including gas stoves, ovens, and water heaters, as well as wood-burning stoves and fireplaces. Improper ventilation can also contribute to high levels of CO in a home, as can using gasoline-powered tools or equipment inside a poorly ventilated area.
CO poisoning is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it is difficult to detect without the use of a CO detector. It is important to have CO detectors in your home and to regularly check and maintain any appliances that use fossil fuels to ensure they are functioning properly.
To prevent CO poisoning, it is also important to follow proper safety guidelines when using any type of fuel-burning appliance. This includes using only UL-listed appliances, ensuring proper ventilation, and following the manufacturer’s instructions for use and maintenance.
Install A Carbon Monoxide Detector:
A carbon monoxide detector is a device that sounds an alarm when it detects the presence of carbon monoxide in the air. It is important to install a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, especially near bedrooms. Check and replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector regularly to ensure it is working properly.
Home Appliances Inspection:
HVAC systems, water heaters, and appliances that use fuel are common sources of carbon monoxide leaks. Have these items inspected by a professional on a regular basis to ensure they are operating safely and efficiently.
Use Fuel-Burning Appliances Correctly:
When using fuel-burning appliances, such as stoves, fireplaces, and grills, make sure they are properly vented to the outside of your home. Never use these appliances in an enclosed space, such as a garage or basement.
Keep Flues And Chimneys Clean:
Flues and chimneys that are clogged with debris can cause carbon monoxide to build up in your home. Have your flues and chimneys cleaned and inspected regularly to prevent blockages.
Don’t Idle Your Car In An Enclosed Space:
Carbon monoxide can be produced by the exhaust of a car, so it is important to never idle your car in an enclosed space, such as a garage.
Don’t Use A Gas Oven To Heat Your Home:
Gas ovens are not designed to heat a home and can produce carbon monoxide if used for this purpose. Use a proper heating system to heat your home.
By following these tips, you can help prevent carbon monoxide leaks and protect yourself and your family from the dangers of this deadly gas. Remember, if you suspect a carbon monoxide leak, evacuate the area immediately and call 911.
What Makes Carbon Monoxide So Dangerous?
One of the reasons that carbon monoxide is so dangerous is that it can quickly accumulate in enclosed spaces, such as a home or a garage.
When it is inhaled, it binds to the hemoglobin in the blood, preventing oxygen from being transported to the body’s cells.
This can lead to a wide range of health problems, including headaches, dizziness, and nausea. In severe cases, it can cause coma, brain damage, and even death.
Another reason that carbon monoxide is dangerous is that it can be produced by a variety of sources, including wood stoves, gas ovens, and gasoline engines.
This means that it can be present in a variety of locations, and it is not always easy to know when it is present.
One way to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning is to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. These devices can detect the presence of the gas and sound an alarm, warning you to evacuate the area.
It is also important to ensure that all fuel-burning appliances are properly ventilated, and to never use a gas oven or stovetop to heat your home.