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CO Testing for the Real World

January/February 2002
A version of this article appears in the January/February 2002 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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January 01, 2002
Field inspections of gas ranges and laboratory tests provide the basis for a proposed CO emissions testing protocol.
        Gas ranges are probably the most common unvented gas appliances in use in North America. With homes becoming tighter, the potential for any type of unvented gas appliance to set the stage for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is increasing. Ranges and ovens are no exception.Poorly operating ranges and ovens that have closed air shutters, damaged orifices, or warped flame spreaders can emit hazardous levels of CO. CO problems can also arise when equipment users operate a gas range or oven as a space-heating appliance, alter the oven by, for instance, lining the oven bottom with aluminum foil and inadvertently covering the secondary air ports; or misuse the equipment in other ways (see “Educating the Client”).         In an effort to develop a field protocol for testing gas ranges,my company, R.J. Karg and Associates, inspected 25 natural gas and propane ranges in randomly selected houses in the Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine, areas. With the help of GARD Analytics,we also conducted three days of laboratory tests.We were dismayed to find during field tests that about half of the ovens gave off more than the ...

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