There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes how and where to install a Carbon Monoxide Detector. Many homeowners will buy the plug in style detector and it usually gets plugged into an outlet by the floor. While the premise is that having some detection is better than nothing, a floor mounted detector is just not as efficient as one mounted higher.
So, where do you mount his detector?
You must ensure you get your carbon monoxide detector installation height right. While some guides might recommend placing your detectors on the ceiling or by the floor, I don’t agree.
The specific gravity of Carbon Monoxide is 0.9657 (with normal air being 1.0), this means that it will float up towards the ceiling because it is lighter than regular air. However, when a build up of dangerous levels of CO gas is taking place, this is nearly always due to a heat source that is not burning its fuel correctly (motor vehicle exhaust fumes are an exception). This heated air can form a layer near your ceiling which can prevent the Carbon Monoxide from reaching a ceiling detector.
For this reason I strongly suggest that it is best to mount your detectors on the walls at least a couple of feet below the height of the ceiling.
A few important considerations when mounting these important life safety devices:
Avoid putting a CO detector by:
- In Direct Sunlight
- Close to Appliances that generate heat
You also need more than 1 detector for your home. I often go into homes with just one detector. You should have one on every floor of your home, near bedrooms and if you have an enclosed garage directly attached to the home, then you should also place a detector within 10 feet of the internal door to your garage.
This should clear the air! What do you think?