How Many Carbon Monoxide CO Detectors Do I Need? (Do THIS Now!)

Carbon Monoxide can build up in your house as it is produced by devices that burn fuel. Although carbon monoxide gas is colorless and odorless, it can be dangerous!

Luckily, there are carbon monoxide detectors on the market with sensors that can measure the carbon monoxide levels in the air and give you a loud beeping alert if it exceeds safety limits.


This leads many of us to wonder “how many carbon monoxide detectors do I need around the house? And in the following guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to answer this question!

How Many Carbon Monoxide CO Detectors Should You Install?

Ideally, there’s no specific guideline on how many carbon monoxide detectors you need to have installed around the house. 

Instead, there are some factors and rules that play a vital role in deciding the perfect number of carbon monoxide detectors to install.

This is because there are some spots around where carbon monoxide detectors are critical for your safety and others where you should put one at all.

Every home should at least have one (outside the hallway next to the bedrooms). However, you should expect the average household to have around 3 to 5 carbon monoxide detectors. Some districts have specific rules about this, check with your local city hall to see what is needed.

Factors to Keep in Mind While Deciding How Many Carbon Monoxide Detectors to Get

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the factors that you should consider while deciding on how many carbon monoxide detectors to get for your house.

The Size of the House

The square footage around your house is quite essential for determining the right number of carbon monoxide sensors you need to install.

Ideally, a single carbon monoxide detector can cover a total area of around 1,300 square feet. In other words, the larger your house is (horizontally), the more detectors you’ll probably need.

The Levels of the House

Despite the coverage area of a carbon monoxide detector, it’s only applicable for open areas that are well connected. 

This means that the levels of your house are treated separately when it comes to carbon monoxide detectors.

If you have multiple levels in your house, you’ll need at least one carbon monoxide detector for every floor.

Number of Bedrooms in the House

Similar to the levels of the house, carbon monoxide detectors are also limited by the confinement of a room. 

Since bedrooms are the most common areas where carbon monoxide poisoning cases occur, it’s usually recommended that you have at least one detector in every bedroom in the house.

Additionally, you need to install one detector that is within 10 feet of each bedroom door. If the rooms are next to each other, they can share the same detector.

Whether You Have a Basement and/or Garage

The basement is usually poorly ventilated when it’s compared to other parts of the house. Moreover, it usually contains a variety of machines that are known for being a potential carbon monoxide threat. This includes water heaters, laundry machines, furnaces, etc.

Similarly, if you have an attached garage, you should put one near its connection with the house to avoid any carbon monoxide leaks from your vehicles.

Appliances’ Placement

There are several appliances that are found around the house, especially the kitchen, that can be a source of carbon monoxide, which is one of the reasons why basements should always have carbon monoxide detectors.

Similarly, grills, fireplaces, gas stoves, certain types of heaters, and similar devices will always call for the presence of a carbon monoxide detector in their rooms.

5 Important Tips While Installing Carbon Monoxide Detectors Around the House

Now that you know more about carbon monoxide detectors placement around the house, here are some additional tips that you should keep in mind while installing them:

1. Use Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Tandem with Smoke Detectors

Some people think that carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors are the same thing, and while they look like each other and use a similar concept to work, they’re two different devices.

Not only that, but when it comes to smoke detectors placement, the rules are quite different, as you need to install one in just about every room in the house.

Additionally, one device doesn’t replace the other. If you want the highest level of safety and security around the house, it is for the best that you install both of them around the house.

2. Always Set an Alarm for Battery Replacement Time

If your carbon monoxide detector uses batteries to operate, it will stop performing its function properly when the battery is dying. In some instances, the battery is just a backup power source but it should work anyway.

For that reason, it’s always recommended that you use high-quality batteries and keep track of their level by setting a reminder to replace the batteries when they’re about to die.

3. Set a Regular Checkup Schedule for the Sensors

A carbon monoxide detector is of no use if it malfunctions, whether it fails to detect the leakage or gives out annoying false alarms.

To make sure that the sensors of the detector are operating just fine, make sure that you create a regular schedule where you get a professional to check these sensors or do it yourself with a controlled source of carbon monoxide.

4. Avoid the Areas That Trigger False Alarms

There are several areas around the house that will give false readings of high carbon monoxide concentration. 

These areas include your bathroom, near open windows, and close to sources of heat in your kitchen. 

To avoid that, make sure that you keep the detector at least 5 to 15 feet away from any fire source. Check the manual of the device that you will get as it might differ.

5. Install Carbon Monoxide Detector on Ceilings and High on Walls

Carbon monoxide is lighter than air, so you should make sure that you keep the detector high in the room to get the most accurate readings. 

Final Thoughts

This wraps it up for today’s guide that answers one of the most critical questions regarding home safety: “how many carbon monoxide detectors do I need?”

As you can see, the answer mainly depends on the layout of your house as well as the appliances you use.

Remember to always follow the previously mentioned tips while installing the detectors and maintain a regular schedule for maintenance to keep them up and running!