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Your Appliances and Carbon Monoxide … What you need to know

It’s sweater weather – the time of year when we sip on cocoa, enjoy roaring fires in the fireplace and spend time with our families. It is also the time of year when we are spending more time cooking in our kitchens for family and friends.

During the summer, cooking can be a breeze – literally. Typically in the summer your home is flowing with fresh air from either windows (or doors) being left open or fans bringing fresh air into our houses.

Now that winter is here, our windows and doors are closed. With our homes being sealed up from the cold air, the smell of the delicious food is in the air … and if you are cooking with gas appliances carbon monoxide could be in the air as well.

How do you know if carbon monoxide is lingering in the air? What is the normal amount of carbon monoxide that can come from your appliances? How to know if there is too much?

We have put together this list of myths and facts about carbon monoxide and your appliances to keep you informed…

I have a new gas range. I don’t have to worry about carbon monoxide in the air because my appliance is new.


New or old, it is normal for a very small amount of carbon monoxide to be emitted into the air when using gas appliances. OCIA says that 50 ppm or below is absolutely safe and normal.

It is not necessary to run my vent hood when using my gas range.


To help keep carbon monoxide levels low, you will want to turn on your vent hood that is vented to the outside of your home. Recirculating vents will only keep the carbon monoxide in the air.

Because I have gas appliances in my home, I should have a carbon monoxide detector that will warn me if carbon monoxide levels increase in my home.


If you have gas appliances in your home, it is advised to have a carbon monoxide detector. Be sure to read the detector’s instructions for placement. Generally, these should be placed high in the room because carbon monoxide rises in the air.

When using a meter to check the levels of carbon monoxide being emitted from my appliance, this should be done by stepping back from the appliance and testing the room’s air.


When using a meter to check the carbon monoxide levels being emitted from your appliance, this should not be done by placing the meter next to (or inside) the appliance. This is because there will always be some amount of carbon monoxide coming from the source.

If the flame coming from my stove top’s burner turns yellow, this is an indication that the burner is emitting too much carbon monoxide.


If the flame on your gas burner is a different color (such as yellow). This alone is not enough to say there is too much carbon monoxide being emitted. A change in flame or color however, does indicate that you have a problem that you will want to have looked at right away.

Bill Cummins

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