How the stove and oven in your home give off high carbon monoxide levels

How the stove and oven in your home give off high carbon monoxide levels

Although you may not know it, the gas stove and oven in your home can be sources of carbon monoxide. The trouble is that this is something that can go on for a long time without you ever noticing. Scientific research has established that kitchens are some of the places in the home with the highest carbon monoxide levels. As an odorless and colorless gas, CO is hard to detect.

How does that happen?

Not all types of gases burn in the same way. However, all of them have the potential to produce carbon monoxide so long as it is burning in low oxygen. A kitchen stove and oven can produce CO albeit in mild concentrations. The normal level of carbon monoxide produced in a kitchen should be no more than 30 PPM. But in a normal kitchen, there is extended cooking which leads to the buildup of CO levels. That is in contravention of the fact that kitchen stoves and ovens are designed for irregular, not extended use.

In poorly ventilated kitchens, the carbon monoxide levels tend to rise very fast to the extent of exceeding the acceptable CO levels. Also to blame is blockage of air to the gas burner which leads to inefficient burning. Look at the color of the flame and you will know you have a problem. If the flame is red or orange, it indicates poor gas combustion.

If you use gas for cooking, make sure you regularly check your regulator. If you skip the inspections, then the chances are high of having increased levels of CO in your home. That’s beside risking a fire explosion in your kitchen. If you are not careful, the continued emission of CO in your home can lead to serious respiratory complications or even fatalities.

Mitigation measures

It is best to always contact a or HVAC technician to carry out a number of combustion tests in your home. That way, you will be able to know the level of CO produced in your home. If the levels are too high, then you will have time to fix the problem.

If your stove and oven came with operating instructions, follow these always. Check if air vents are blocked and maintain a high level of cleanliness on your stove. As a rule, never cover the vent holes at the bottom of the oven with foil.

The weather will be extremely cold sometimes. Whatever you do, don’t use your stove or oven to heat your home. Ovens are not meant to work with their doors open. If anything using the oven to heat your home without making provision for ventilation will only lead to increased CO levels. Don’t be surprised if the occupants of the house complained of breathing complications.

Service your stove or oven when you notice the following:

  • Red or orange flames.
  • Improper lighting on the burner.
  • Production of soot.
  • Increased CO concentrations.

To be sure that your home is CO-free ensure your oven is working efficiently. Providing proper ventilation in the home is also key.

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