do you need a carbon monoxide detector with a propane heater

Do You Need a Carbon Monoxide Detector with a Propane Heater?

Carbon monoxide can be an issue anytime that there is fuel being burned as a source of heat.

It’s for this reason that almost every state has a law in place that requires carbon monoxide detectors in some capacity whether it be in homes or daycares.

At the very least it is highly encouraged to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

Carbon monoxide is invisible, tasteless, odorless, and is a hazard to your health.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can even result in death. It’s not be toyed with obviously.

   A properly functioning propane heater will produce nearly zero carbon monoxide.

But a malfunction in a propane heater can cause incomplete combustion. Which will lead to the presence of carbon monoxide.

And could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Do you need a carbon monoxide detector with a propane heater?

Carbon monoxide detectors are  inexpensive and should be employed anytime you are using a propane heater. For any heater that uses gas.

And since the probability of you already having carbon monoxide detectors installed, it’s always a good time to make sure that they are working and that the battery is good.

Other Propane Heater safety measures

Oxygen depletion sensor (ODS)

Propane heaters that are meant for indoor use come with an oxygen depletion sensor as a standard protection mechanism.

This is a safety feature that causes the heater to shut off when the oxygen around the heater becomes depleted.

This is important because when the oxygen becomes low, it creates a void where carbon monoxide will fill it.

If the oxygen depletion sensor shuts down the heater, although there is a good chance of carbon monoxide, the ODS sensor will not detect it.

Another reason that a carbon monoxide detector is a must when using a propane heater indoors.

Propane additives

Propane is completely odor free at its origin. For that reason, a harmless chemical called Mercaptan is added to let you know when there is a leak.

The smell is similar to rotten eggs or a dead animal. So there is no mistaking when you smell it.

But relying on the sense of smell is not full proofed. One of symptoms common to cold and flu season is a reduced sense of smell.

For that reason, it is highly suggested that in addition to a carbon monoxide detector that you use a propane gas detector.

Multi function detectors like the Kidde Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Detector & Propane, Natural, & Explosive Gas Detector

will add a higher level of protection from the threat of a propane leak or any other natural or explosive gas and serve a carbon monoxide detector in one.


Do you need a carbon monoxide detector with a propane heater?

A Carbon monoxide detector is highly suggested with the use of a propane because even though a propane heater may come with an oxygen depletion sensor, it does not have a carbon monoxide detector on board.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly and is not something worth risking since the price of a carbon monoxide detector is fairly inexpensive.

  Many people opt for multi-detectors that can measure carbon monoxide as well as gases like propane and other natural gases. And sound a loud alarm when they are detected.

Published by

Dennis Reed

Dennis Reed Owner and Author @