Carbon monoxide is a gas we always come in contact with every day either at home or outside the house but because it is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas, we may not detect its presence until it leads to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Opening the window cannot stop carbon monoxide poisoning if the level of oxygen in the room is lower than carbon monoxide. If the window is open, it can help slow down carbon monoxide poisoning if the amount of fresh air that flows out of the window exceeds the amount that flows into the room.
There are many things that should be considered when using the opening of a window as a source of ventilation for the room against carbon monoxide. Therefore, I urge you to read this article till the end to understand what to do because this is indeed a tricky question that requires a carefully detailed answer.
As we all know, carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Anything that concerns carbon monoxide is not good news. It can kill without the person even knowing exactly what is wrong with him or her.
Can You Get Rid of Carbon Monoxide Opening Windows?
Yes, you can get rid of carbon monoxide in the house by opening the windows to allow enough ventilation into the house. It will take between four to eight hours before carbon monoxide can completely leave the house if the window is open.
Therefore, opening a window is one of the ways of getting rid of carbon monoxide in the house. However, while opening the window, you must ensure that enough air is entering inside the room and ensure that the air entering inside the room is fresh air.
Can Opening a Window Stop Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
As reiterated earlier, the answer to this question is very tricky and I’m going to explain it in the best possible way I can for a better understanding.
Opening a window can stop carbon monoxide only if:
- The amount of air entering inside the room is enough
- If the air entering inside the room is fresh
So while opening your window to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, you should always ensure that enough fresh air is entering inside the room. As the report may have it, you need enough ventilation to fight carbon monoxide.
For example, if you are using a propane heater indoors, the only way it is safe to use these propane heaters indoors is to ensure that you have enough ventilation to use these propane heaters. For without enough air, you will definitely suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning. The opened window will allow air to flow in and out of the room or house, therefore diluting the carbon monoxide in the house.
Nevertheless, opening your window cannot stop carbon monoxide poisoning if the flow of air out of the window does not exceed the flow into the room from the carbon monoxide source. What this means is that, if the amount of air that is going out of your window is not greater than the one coming inside the room from the carbon monoxide source, you are likely to get carbon monoxide poisoning.
Therefore to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, you should ensure that even after opening the window, the amount of air going out of the window should exceed that the flow of air coming into the room from the carbon monoxide source.
Also, even after opening the window, ensure that the level of carbon monoxide outside the window is lower than in the room. What this means is you should never open your window direct to the source of the carbon monoxide. You need to open the window from where the level of carbon monoxide outside is lower than in the room. This will ensure that enough fresh air can enter the room to dilute any form of carbon monoxide hence stopping carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you open your window towards the carbon monoxide source, there is a chance that the air around that place has already been polluted by the carbon monoxide. Now, since your window is opened in that direction, the carbon monoxide will enter your room through the opened window because the level of carbon monoxide outside the window is greater.
If it is possible, open the door and window as well. If opening the window does not allow enough ventilation. Open the doors too. This will help slow down carbon monoxide poisoning.
I know of a man who carbon monoxide from a generator set killed. The man traveled to his hometown with his two friends for burial rights. A night before the burial day, he and his three friends turned on the generator and slept without turning the generator off.
The next morning, they were found dead because of the carbon monoxide from the generator. Since the generator was just close to the room where they slept, even with the window open, the amount of air coming inside the room was very low to dilute the carbon monoxide also coming inside the room from the generator. This was how these three men died.
Carbon monoxide is indeed a silent killer. If you suspect the presence of carbon monoxide in your home or you feel that any of your appliances is leaking gas, please call the appropriate bodies to come to check it out. You can call the fire department of your area to come to check the carbon monoxide in your house. If they are not available, you can call a professional on-site air testing company to come to check for carbon monoxide in your house. You can also call 911.
Can Sleeping with a Window Open Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Sleeping with the window opened cannot prevent carbon monoxide poisoning but can help slow down carbon monoxide poisoning as it will allow ventilation in the room to expel some of the gas before you inhale it while sleeping.
Consequently, there is no guarantee that when you sleep with your window open, you will not suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning. If you feel the presence of carbon monoxide in the house. Do not sleep in that house.
It is important to note that sleeping with windows open may not guarantee the prevention of carbon monoxide. If those three men were awake, they wouldn’t have died. Or, if one of them were awake, he would have noticed and turned off the generator immediately.
But since carbon monoxide is a silent killer that has no smell, it was affecting them without them knowing. They must have felt dizzy and weak and may have thought that they were probably just feeling sleepy or just weak owing to the fact that they made a very long journey to the village without knowing that it was actually the carbon monoxide that is getting the best of them,
So, this is why you should never sleep around carbon monoxide whether the window or door is open to be on the safer side.
Can You Recover from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Yes, you can recover from carbon monoxide poisoning if you are exposed to fresh air. If it is a mild carbon monoxide poisoning that involves headache, nausea, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, vomiting, drowsiness, and poor coordination, you can easily recover when you move into fresh air but if it’s a fatal carbon monoxide poisoning, it can lead to death.
How Long Does it Take for Carbon Monoxide to Dissipate From Home?
It will take between four to eight hours before carbon monoxide can finally dissipate from home. While the carbon monoxide is leaving your house, you are advised never to be inside the house. Stay out of the house and allow the carbon monoxide to completely dissipate before entering the house again.
Since carbon monoxide can be fatal, do not rely on your window for safety when you notice the presence of carbon monoxide in the house. Even if you wish to use the window, ensure that enough fresh air is entering into the house for its by only this way can opening a window stop carbon monoxide poisoning.