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  • Interior CO

    Couple questions on CO. Is it heavier or lighter than air?

  • #2
    lighter than air. The molecular weight of CO is 28.01 while "air" is 28.975, a good reason that those plug in detectors are typically not where they need to be. Most outlets are at about your knee level when the detectors should be near the ceiling.

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    • #3
      CO is slightly lighter than air (.968). Because warm air rises, CO rises with it. Like with furnaces and hot water heaters, but once the air cools to room temperature, CO can disperse evenly through the room.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 38ffems
        lighter than air. The molecular weight of CO is 28.01 while "air" is 28.975, a good reason that those plug in detectors are typically not where they need to be. Most outlets are at about your knee level when the detectors should be near the ceiling.
        My understanding is that the rate that CO rises at in "normal" interior conditions (temp and humidity) is slow enough that a CO detector at outlet level should arm efficiently. Also, placing outlet type detectors near hot air furnace registers and gas-fired water heaters is the best way to catch an reading quick when a problem arises.

        I guess I'd defere to someone who could scientifically explain the rate of which a gas can rise based on its molecular weight and/or vapor density.

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        • #5
          One other consideration is that any time the furnace is running, or even a ceiling fan is on, the air is circulating, and with it the CO.

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