Will Carbon Monoxide Detector Detect Gas Leak? | Explained

You may be worried that having a source of natural gas for cooking or heating might affect you or your family’s health down the line. Will a carbon monoxide detector be able to detect a gas leak and give you a timely warning?

A carbon monoxide detector won’t be able to detect a gas leak, and you’ll be better off with a natural gas detector if this is the case. Let’s take a look at why this is, and how you can protect your loved ones from the dangers of gas leaks.

What is a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

Carbon monoxide detectors

A carbon monoxide detector is a small device that can check for and alert the owner of the presence of too much carbon monoxide. It usually does so by sounding off an alarm, or via app notifications.

This type of detector is usually installed where there are gas lines installed, which includes the basement, kitchen and furnaces or fireplaces. It’s considered a good investment, especially for those who want to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

What Can a Carbon Monoxide Detector Detect?

It’s natural to assume that a carbon monoxide detector can detect gas leaks. However, this isn’t the case.

While it’s true that natural gas leaks produce carbon monoxide, a carbon monoxide detector will not be able to detect them. Natural gas has an entirely different composition, although the effect of having too much gas in the atmosphere can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

It’s worthy to note that carbon monoxide is produced when natural gas burns, and it can build up quickly in enclosed spaces, such as homes and apartments. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a real threat, and households will need a specialized natural gas detector alongside a carbon monoxide detector to cover incidents of gas leaks and the buildup of too much carbon monoxide, respectively.

The bottom line is that a carbon monoxide detector is different from a natural gas detector in terms of function, and you won’t be able to detect a gas leak using a carbon monoxide detector. For this reason natural gas detectors exist and are wholly recommended to address this type of concern.

What Device Can Detect Gas Leaks?

The best way to detect gas leaks in your home and as they occur is to install a natural gas detector.

Natural gas is odorless, and when it escapes it’s usually not discovered until it’s too late. Most gas companies mix in what’s called mercaptan to give it a strong odor. This way, you’ll immediately smell the leak and take the necessary steps to prevent any more buildup of carbon monoxide.

Odorants are just one way to detect the escape of natural gas, but to really prevent carbon monoxide poisoning you will need the help of natural gas detectors. These devices are typically installed near appliances that use natural gas and will sound off when a leak is detected.

Natural gas detectors are made to create a safe environment where natural gas or LPG are present. For homes and establishments that use natural or combustible fuel on a regular basis, it’s best to have a specialized detector around the area for health reasons and peace of mind.

Even with a gas leak detector you must observe best practices to prevent too much carbon monoxide in the house. Regularly open windows and allow air to circulate. You’ll also need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and schedule regular maintenance and servicing of your gas lines.

How Does a Natural Gas Detector Work?

Natural gas detectors are similar to carbon monoxide detectors in that they’re devices that detect their respective gasses. For a carbon monoxide detector it’s primarily carbon monoxide, while a natural gas will scan for LPG and gas leaks.

You can easily install a natural gas detector as needed, and they come in several options. You can get one that’s battery-powered for places where a plug isn’t present. Alternatively, you can get one that needs to be plugged in so you can enjoy constant protection against gas leaks and its effects.

To cover both gas leak and carbon monoxide poisoning you will need a gas detection system that has both natural gas and carbon monoxide detectors. These devices overlap and sound an alarm whenever there’s a gas leak and excessive buildup of carbon monoxide.