• Where Does Carbon Monoxide Come From?

    Where Does Carbon Monoxide Come From?

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    Carbon monoxide is a word we hear in the news when there’s been an illness or tragedy in our community or of a celebrity. At Lindemann Chimney Service on the northern shore of Chicago and Southern Wisconsin, we are hoping that through this series of blogs you will come to a better understanding of how to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. As mentioned in the first blog in this series, even someone with my knowledge can end up with it.

    Unlined Flue_Chimney_Inspection

    What is carbon monoxide? It’s a colorless, odorless gas. Its chemical name is CO (which we will use for abbreviation purposes in this article).

    Where does CO come from? CO is a by-product of combustion. This means it is present in fumes from vehicle exhausts, gasoline engines, oil or gas appliances and flues, woodburning appliances/flues, gas ranges, gas dryers, charcoal grills, chimneys venting flue gasses and anywhere combustion fumes are present. In a perfect world the fumes of CO would be vented to the outside where it disperses into the atmosphere. At the wrong end of the spectrum is when CO builds up and is not vented to the exterior such as a clogged or damaged chimney or vent or problems with a missing or damaged muffler. And I’m sure you’ve also heard the warnings about not using a gas cook stove to heat the house or using barbeque grills in an enclosed space. Make sense now? If not, read on.

    How does CO affect humans and animals? CO displaces oxygen in the blood. The fickle thing about blood is that it “picks up” CO much quicker than oxygen. Over time, this displacement of oxygen starts to affect the tissues and organs which must be continually fed oxygen to survive. But more about that in the next blog.

    I’ll also discuss some varying levels of CO and how they can affect humans and animals. Stay tuned!

    PS. Here’s a good link to read up about CO poisoning.

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