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Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement
Carbon monoxide detector placement.
That title surrounds a question I get a lot during home inspections.  And this one -
Is carbon monoxide lighter or heavier than air?
Of course, any time you have gas appliances or a wood-burning fireplace, you should have at least one carbon monoxide (CO) detector in the home.
CO is odorless, tasteless and DOES NOT GIVE WARNING that it is being produced or building up.
And, is it lighter or heavier than air?  Which means, does it rise or fall when produced?
Since the molecular weights of gases differ, what makes them move is convection.  If a gas is released because of combustion, it would tend to rise due to its heat.
CARBON MONOXIDE HAS NEARLY THE DENSITY OF AIR.  CO is slightly lighter.   You can figure this out.  For example:
O=16   C=12   N=14   H=2
You would add things to get the pure density of gasses.
H2 = 1+1 = 2 (very light)
O2 = 16+16 = 32 (slightly heavy)
N2 = 14+14 = 28 (about neutral)
CO2 = 12+16+16 = 44 (heavy)
CO = 12+16 = 28 (about neutral)
H2O = 1+1+16 = 18 (light) - as in humidity or steam
Radon = 222 (very heavy)
So what is the density of air?  The air we ... more

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