Smart vs. Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Detectors: How to Select the Best Carbon Monoxide Detector for Your Home

As autumn arrives, now is an excellent time to get started thinking about your house’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season starts, the Centers for Disease Control says the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning builds.

Carbon monoxide is a hazardous gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a product of combustion your gas furnace depends on to warm your residence. When your heater is working like it’s supposed to, the gas is correctly vented outside of your house. Cracks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home, where ongoing exposure can be fatal.

Despite the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die from it annually. And another approximately 50,000 people go to the hospital thanks to related issues, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

The best ways you can protect your home is by scheduling regular maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, like your furnace and water heater, and getting a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a model available that matches for your residence and budget.

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, such as the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it straightforward to remain in control for keeping your loved ones safe. They’re usually available as duo carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can generally be synced with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.

Here are a few other benefits of using them in your residence:

    • Signals that there’s something wrong through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone.
    • Locates the problem spot, such as the kitchen or basement.
    • Can be shut off from your phone.
    • Automatically tests its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a full report on your phone.
    • Warns you of dead batteries with an alert on your phone, not a screeching sound in the middle of the night.
    • Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the type.

The only issue with installing Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the price. These detectors are often much higher-priced than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also provide many beneficial and valuable features you won’t get in a non-smart device.

When you’re buying a new device, it’s crucial to know where to place carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency encourages placing a carbon monoxide detector approximately five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is since carbon monoxide can rise with warm air.

We encourage installing a detector on each floor of your residence, as well as outside bedrooms. You’ll want to make sure the noise will wake you up.

Battery-Powered and Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Plug-in and battery-powered carbon monoxide detectors are the most affordable. A couple of the most popular models are Kidde carbon monoxide detectors and First Alert carbon monoxide detectors.

But they also have limited features that don’t work with your phone or smart home devices. They tend to have a digital display and test button, which you’ll have to remember to use.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms every month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in need to be tested weekly. If you’re concerned about how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s pretty straightforward. Depress the button to ensure your detector is working.

If your detector is hardwired, make sure to change the backup battery at least annually. If it’s battery-powered, you’ll want to change it once a month to skip the irritating chirp in the middle of the night.

If you’re hearing noise or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping intermittently, it usually signals it has a low battery. Or, it’s getting to the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors run depends on the brand you use. Typically, it’s between 5–10 years, but make sure to read the instructions from your specific manufacturer.

If you’re wondering why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s often due to the fact it’s detected hazardous concentration of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with constant, loud beeping, leave your house immediately and contact 911.

Now is a good time to ensure your carbon monoxide detector is functioning as it should before heating season begins. If you need to schedule furnace maintenance or you’re interested in upgrading to smart carbon monoxide detectors, the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help. Reach us at 866-397-3787 today and we’ll help you pick the ideal carbon monoxide detector for your home.

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