No Gas Appliances, But Carbon Monoxide Detector Goes Off: What’s Causing It?

Imagine your carbon monoxide detector suddenly sounding its alarm, warning you of a potential danger, yet you have no gas appliances in your home. A perplexing situation can leave you wondering what’s causing the alarm.

You should always leave your home when your carbon monoxide alarm rings to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

You might experience a false alarm if your carbon monoxide detector goes off even though your home has no gas appliances.

It’s always better to err on the side of caution, so open up your windows and doors to air out your home. Usually, false alarms stop going off after a short while.

Nevertheless, gas appliances are just one-way carbon monoxide can build up in homes.

The following are some other possible causes of carbon monoxide buildup:

  • An example of this would be a fireplace that burns wood or coal
  • Running your car in an enclosed garage
  • Appliances that use oil as fuel, such as furnaces,
  • It may be necessary to call 911 if the alarm continues to ring or if you start feeling sick (nausea, headache, dizziness).

You should never assume that a carbon monoxide alarm is a mistake. When you notice a warning, leave the house and contact the fire department! It may save your life.

Causes Behind Carbon Monoxide Detector Going Off But No Gas Appliances

When your carbon monoxide detector (CO) goes off, you need to act promptly because CO is a hazardous gas that cannot be seen or smelled.

Your carbon monoxide detector should go off if you have a gas appliance in your home. First, open a window and get everyone out of the house immediately.

Once all your family members are gone, turn off all gas appliances in your home, including the furnace and any other gas-powered devices. After the gas is shut off, call your gas company to check if any leaks have occurred.

Several causes can cause your carbon monoxide alarm to go off in the middle of the night.

1. Battery Issue

Battery Issue

It is most likely that you have a battery issue. Replace or check your battery if your alarm is battery-operated.

An issue with your hardwired alarm may be caused by your wiring or power source connection.

Call your local fire department or emergency services if you cannot determine what caused the fire.

2. False Alarm

False Alarm

If you have a carbon monoxide detector in your house, there is a possibility that it is falsely alarming. Several reasons may be contributing to this, but the most likely explanation is a malfunction in the device.

The carbon monoxide detector should be replaced if it keeps falsely triggering alarms. The presence of a carbon monoxide detector in your home or office is a necessary safety precaution in case of a gas leak that can result in death.

False alarms, on the other hand, can be highly disruptive and can result in panic. Ensure there is no gas leak in the area if your carbon monoxide detector keeps going off.

You should replace your carbon monoxide detector if you do not detect a gas leak and the alarm still sounds.

3. Too Close to Appliances That Give Off Carbon Monoxide

Too Close to Appliances That Give Off Carbon Monoxide

When appliances are operating, carbon monoxide is produced. It is possible for a carbon monoxide detector to detect even tiny amounts of these substances since the quantities are generally toxic in very small amounts.

In a case where the detector is too close but there is no ventilation, carbon monoxide will not weigh more. Myth: Carbon monoxide weighs more than air.

Despite not having ventilation in the room, a small amount can raise your carbon monoxide detector’s false alarm.

4. Moisture


In and of itself, moisture won’t set off a carbon monoxide detector by default, but it can cause problems with particular sensors that could ultimately malfunction.

When moisture accumulates over time, electronics can be damaged. This is because installing carbon monoxide detectors in the bathroom and similar areas in the house can be risky. Depending on the humidity in your basement, the sensor may also not function as it should.

5. From Your Neighborhood

From Your Neighborhood

It is possible that the carbon monoxide detected was not caused by your appliances but by a neighbor’s carbon monoxide seeping through your walls and floor.

You should check if your neighbor’s have fuel-burning appliances producing carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide might escape from chimney stacks, allowing it to enter your premises.

How Do You Know If You Have A Carbon Monoxide Leak?

In the case of a carbon monoxide detector in your home, you might wonder what would cause it to go off. A number of things can cause your detector to sound the alarm:

  • When a generator is running in an enclosed space, it produces electricity
  • In an attached garage, there is a car running
  • Clogged chimneys or flues
  • Incorrectly vented gas stoves
  • Carbon monoxide leaks should be addressed immediately by locating fresh air and calling 911.

What Can Falsely Set Off A Carbon Monoxide Detector?

Detectors for carbon monoxide can be set off even if no carbon monoxide is present.

There is a chance that battery-operated or plug-in carbon monoxide detectors will sometimes cause false alarms.

When your detectors are hardwired and connected, one unit going off could cause them all to sound. This usually happens due to a low battery in one of the interconnected units.

The presence of dust and insects can also pose problems for carbon monoxide detectors. When the sensor is heavily dust-covered, it can cause the unit to shut down. Similarly, an alarm can be triggered if insects crawl into the unit and die.

It’s also possible to set off a carbon monoxide detector if you accidentally leave a gas stove on because you didn’t correctly vent it. Ensure all appliances function properly and exhaust vents are free of cracks and holes.

A very rare occurrence is when heavy smokers smoke in a poorly ventilated room, and the CO from their smoke triggers an alarm.

In homes close to jam-packed roads, CO levels may be higher when windows are open because traffic fumes may enter the room and set your alarm.

It is possible that the sound that your alarm is making is not an alarm to alert you to dangerous levels of CO.

Alarms make several audible sounds, such as low battery warnings or alarm faults.

Read the user manual to learn the different sounds generated by your alarm. Ensure you have the manual with you so you can refer to it should the alarm go off.

Who To Call When Carbon Monoxide Alarm Goes Off?

If your home has a carbon monoxide detector, you’ve got good reason to keep it on. Invisible and odorless, carbon monoxide is a deadly gas.

You should act immediately if your detector goes off in the middle of the night.

Getting everyone outside and into fresh air is essential as soon as possible. Contact your local fire department or 911 once everyone is safely out of harm’s way.

The company will be able to send someone to investigate and determine whether carbon monoxide is present in the air and the concentration.

It will work with you to ensure everyone in the home is safe and to ventilate the house to make it safe to re-enter after the level has been reduced. You should not try to solve the problem yourself in the meantime.

If you open windows or run fans, you could spread the carbon monoxide throughout your home before it can dissipate.

The most important rule of thumb is not to go back inside before emergency responders have cleared you.

How Often Will Carbon Monoxide Detector Go Off?

As this gas can be hazardous, you should always have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.

When harmful levels of carbon monoxide are present, most units will emit an alarm, giving you time to act. However, the number of times your detector will sound might be a concern.

You may have to become more sensitive to your unit and your home’s carbon monoxide concentration to determine the answer to this question.

The carbon monoxide detector will usually only sound an alarm if dangerous gas levels have been detected. It is also possible for some units to emit low-level warning signals when there are low gas levels.

Consult your manufacturer or the owner’s manual if you are concerned about the frequency with which your CO detectors go off.

Final Words

A carbon monoxide detector should be installed whenever there is a solid fuel-burning appliance in the room.

You should purchase CO detectors that have passed the rigorous testing standards set out in the European standard EN50291. Testing and manufacturing this vital alarm to the highest standards will give you peace of mind.

Don’t assume that chirping CO detectors are a false alarm since carbon monoxide can’t be felt, tasted, or seen. If there is CO present, you should follow these steps to stay safe.

  • Keep calm and open windows and doors to allow fresh air to enter
  • Turn off all fuel-burning appliances after using them, if possible
  • If you notice any type of carbon monoxide leak, you should leave the premises and notify other occupants. (You should also notify any occupants of nearby premises since carbon monoxide can go through walls and floors.
  • To find the source of the carbon monoxide, call Gas Emergency Services at 0800 111 999 or a local Gas Safe Registered Engineer
  • Anyone with symptoms of CO poisoning needs to seek medical attention

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