Energy Efficiency Audits & Contracting in Maine

What's the Big Deal about Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide | Evergreen Home Performance | MaineWhat is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a dangerous by-product of combustion. Anywhere there’s a flame, there could be CO.
CO is an odorless, colorless, toxic gas.
CO makes you sick by preventing your body from absorbing oxygen.
CO accumulates in your body over time, so even low levels can be dangerous.

What are the effects of carbon monoxide?
Symptoms of CO poisoning range from flu-like symptoms – headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea, weakness, and fatigue – to impaired vision and brain function, loss of consciousness, and even death. Reactions vary greatly from person to person, but children, pregnant women, and the elderly are at the greatest risk.

When it comes to CO, how much is too much?
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning | Evergreen Home Performance | MaineBecause CO accumulates in your body, health affects vary according to levels and length of exposure as well as the age and health of the person, and it’s hard to say absolutely what is safe. Most research and regulations focus on acute exposure, and everyone agrees that concentrations above 100-200 ppm (parts per million) are immediately dangerous. There’s less consensus about lower CO levels, but some studies show that chronic exposure to levels as low as 5 ppm may cause permanent mental or physical problems.

How can you monitor carbon monoxide levels?
Defender low-level CO Monitor | Evergreen Home Performance | MaineRelatively low-cost CO monitors are readily available, but these only alert you to acute levels requiring emergency action.  We recommend the Defender low-level CO monitor because it protects against chronic, low level CO poisoning. It samples CO levels every five seconds and has six alarm levels ranging from 10 ppm to 150 ppm.
Every home should have carbon monoxide detectors correctly positioned (unobstructed and high) on each floor and in each sleeping area.