Is Natural Gas Detected by a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

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Is Natural Gas Detected by a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

There are two types of detectors you should always have in your Illinois or Northwest Indiana home: Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. Both can save your life by giving you advance warning of potentially deadly situations. Please note that many smoke alarms include CO detectors, but that’s not always the best solution. Carbon monoxide detectors should be located lower on a wall while smoke detectors work best on the ceiling.


Merts Heating & Air Conditioning urges you to consider a third safety device to detect natural gas leaks. Some people are under the impression a CO detector will also detect natural gas, but that’s simply not the case. Merts recommends gas detectors in all homes but especially in homes with multiple gas appliances. This includes fireplaces, stoves & ovens, clothes dryers, and water heaters. It’s just common sense. The more appliances you have, the greater the risk of a gas leak.


Unlike carbon monoxide, natural gas is a fuel, not a byproduct of burning the fuel. It is naturally flammable and explosive which is the chief danger. What many don’t realize is that, in higher concentrations, natural gas can also suffocate you just as carbon monoxide does. Luckily, there are safety precautions to prevent that. When it comes out of the ground natural gas is just like carbon monoxide, odorless and tasteless. Because of the danger involved, gas suppliers are required by law to add an element that gives the gas it’s rotten egg odor. 


What a gas detector does is provide an early warning of a dangerous situation. Being able to smell natural gas is good, but what if the gas leak occurs in the basement? By the time you smell the gas on the 2nd floor the concentration of gas in the basement may have reached dangerous levels. Much like carbon monoxide detectors, most natural gas detectors are either battery powered or plug into an outlet but are equipped with a battery backup to provide safety during power outages.


The safety of you and your family is always the top priority. That’s why you likely already have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If you are ready to add an extra level of protection to your Steger, IL or Crown Point, IN home, call Merts Heating & Cooling to learn more about natural gas detectors. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more great HVAC information.