Combustion Gases -- Indoor Air Pollutants: Where to Find Them and What to Do

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Types of Gas

  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Nitrogen Dioxide
  • Sulfur Dioxide
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Hydrogen Cyanide
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Benzo(a)pyrene

Sources of Gas:

  • Gas or oil furnaces.
  • Boilers.
  • Hot water heaters.
  • Gas fire places.
  • Wood burning fireplaces.
  • Coal-burning stoves.
  • Kitchen ranges.
  • Clothes dryers.
  • Space heaters.
  • Wall heaters.
  • Central heating systems.
  • Kerosene space heaters.


  • Use all-electric appliances (except electric self- cleaning ovens).
  • Use other fuel-burning alternatives such as solar or steam heat.
  • Install a balanced ventilation system in the house; beware of negative pressure and downdrafts.
  • Ensure that fuel-burning appliances are induced-draft, sealed-combustion units. Small enclosed rooms should have direct air supply from exterior.
  • Seal ductwork with mastic, including cracks or leaks in stovepipe.
  • Have a qualified service person check for chimney obstructions like creosote buildup.
  • Have your furnace maintained regularly by a competent mechanical contractor — look out for cracked heat exchanger.
  • Eliminate wood or gas fireplaces. Alternatively, install tight-fitting doors on fireplaces or install an efficient fireplace insert. Replace older wood stoves with new cleaner-burning devices.
  • Install a quiet range hood, exhausted to the exterior, that is close to the cooking surface. This is especially important for gas stoves.
  • Install a certified carbon monoxide detector or smoke alarm in rooms with a fuel burning appliance that uses a chimney.
  • Make sure stoves are installed and fitted properly.

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