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Old 04.01.2012, 10:34
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Carbon monoxide in cellar?

First of all, before people start to worry with that thread title - everyone in the house is absolutely fine!

We had new windows fitted in our house a few months back in the summer, obviously they are a lot more insulated than the old shitty ones so drafts and heat escaping are pretty much eliminated now. We also had the window in the cellar (the room that has the boiler, washing machine and dryer I mean) replaced - seemed silly not to as we were having the rest done.

Now, we noticed a funny smell in the cellar, which I suspected was something rotting or something off someone's shoe, but having not discovered the source of the odor and also noticing our radiators weren't working properly we called a heating engineer. His diagnosis is that after having our windows done there is not enough air getting into the heating room to fire up the boiler properly - it's working, but it's having to suck air out of the flue/back from the system in order to keep going.

He also said we have a build up of carbon monoxide in the cellar .

Eventually we will have the boiler replaced (as it's 30 years old anyway and we already knew it doesn't meet the new emissions guidelines - we have 10 years in which to replace it though) but this is not practical in the winter anyway - and we're skint having just paid what seems like billions of francs for new windows. Anyway, the guy said this is basically OK if we keep the window open.

So, this all sounds quite feasible.... but.... the sceptic in me says - how can eliminating a tiny draft make a difference that big? Surely the drafty window was only letting in a teeny tiny bit of air??

The pessimist in me says the window to the cellar goes out into our garden and whilst there's a grill over the top, it's removable, so basically if we leave the window open all the time then we could easily get burgled. What if the heating guy is atually mates with a burglar?

So I'm wondering if we really have to leave the window open all the time or just ventilating when we are in the house (and awake) is sufficient.

Also in terms of our safety, there is an insulated door between our living quarters and the cellar room (mainly because the boiler is noisy) which we keep closed pretty much all the time - am I naiive to think that should there be a build up of CO in the cellar then our living quarters will still be OK if the door is closed?

I have just ordered a CO detector so obviously we will check the levels everywhere ourselves when that arrives tomorrow, but if anyone has advice or similar situation, be interested to hear about it. The window's open now since I'm at home.....
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