Knowledge about ratio of carbon monoxide weight to air is so important. I see many people ask the following questions. Is carbon monoxide heavier than air? Is carbon monoxide lighter than air?
Some people misunderstood about this information. So, they act incorrectly when they determine carbon monoxide detector location at where they should install it inside their homes.
In the worst case, people will go to wrong location in their home when they are hearing carbon monoxide detector beeping. They may go downstairs or upstairs to avoid carbon monoxide exposure.
Is Carbon Monoxide Heavier Than Air?
In its pure form, carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air. If we compare their molecular weights, carbon monoxide is 28 g/mol and air is 28.8 g/mol.
So we can say that carbon monoxide density is almost same with density of air.
How to Understand Carbon Monoxide Weight to Air
Because carbon monoxide is produced through partial combustion of compound-containing carbon, so its temperature will always higher than ambient air. Theoretically, hot air has lower density than cold air.
Another fact about carbon monoxide generation is that composition of exhaust gas will have different composition of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and water. This simply means that carbon monoxide may exist in either lower density mixed gas or higher density mixed gas than air.
By considering both facts, we can conclude that carbon monoxide can rise or stay at an area in your home.
So that’s why you will never find in the carbon monoxide detector user ‘s manual a sentence that mentions its installation level or height inside home. It only recommends you install carbon monoxide detector on every level in your home.
I would like to emphasize again one important thing. Even though carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air, but it does not mean that carbon monoxide will always rise or go upstairs in your home when your CO detector detects it existence.
What you have to do id to follow the instruction manual whenever you hear carbon monoxide detector beeping.