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

As autumn approaches, now is an excellent time to start thinking about your home’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season is underway, the Centers for Disease Control says the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning increases.

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a byproduct of combustion your gas furnace depends on to warm your residence. When your heater is working like it’s supposed to, the gas is securely pushed outside of your residence. Cracks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to appear into your home, where ongoing exposure can be deadly.

Despite the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die from it each year. And another approximately 50,000 people are transported to the emergency room due to related issues, such as headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

The best ways you can help your home is by organizing annual maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, including your furnace and water heater, and getting a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s an option on the market to work for your home and budget.

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, such as the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it simple to stay on top of keeping your home safe. They’re usually available as combined carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can generally be linked with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.

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

    • Alerts you that there’s a problem through voice notifications, as well as alerts on your phone.
    • Points out the problem area, such as the kitchen or basement.
    • Can be shut off from your phone.
    • Automatically tests its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a comprehensive report on your phone.
    • Notifies you of dead batteries with an alert on your phone, not a screeching chirp in the middle of the night.
    • Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the kind.

The only downside of installing Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the cost. These detectors are sometimes much higher-priced than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also provide many helpful and worthy features you won’t get in a non-smart device.

When you’re buying a new device, it’s crucial to understand where to put carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests putting a carbon monoxide detector around five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is because carbon monoxide can rise with hot air.

We suggest using a detector on each floor of your house, especially outside bedrooms. You’ll want to be sure the beeping will wake you up.

Battery-Powered and Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Plug-in and battery-powered carbon monoxide detectors are the most economical. A few 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 generally have a digital display and test button, which you’ll have to remember to use.

The National Fire Protection Association suggests testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms each month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in need to be tested weekly. If you’re unsure how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s fairly straightforward. Press the button to ensure your detector is running.

If your detector is hardwired, make sure to replace the backup battery at least every year. If it’s battery-powered, you’ll want to swap it once a month to bypass the annoying chirp in the middle of the night.

If you’re getting a chirp or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping intermittently, it generally means it has a low battery. Or, it’s approaching the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors last depends on the brand you own. Most often, it’s approximately 5–10 years, but make sure to check instructions from your system’s manufacturer.

If you’re concerned about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s likely due to the fact it’s detected hazardous amounts of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with constant, loud beeping, leave your residence right away and dial 911.

Now is an excellent time to confirm your carbon monoxide detector is functioning normally before heating season starts. 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 provide support. Reach us at 866-397-3787 today and we’ll help you select the best carbon monoxide detector for your residence.

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