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

As cooler weather gets closer, now is a great time to get started thinking about your home’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season is underway, the Centers for Disease Control says the risk 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 relies on to warm your residence. When your heater is working as it should, the gas is securely transported outside of your home. Fractures in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to spill into your residence, where long-term exposure can be deadly.

Despite the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is avoidable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die from it every year. And another approximately 50,000 people visit the ER because of related issues, such as headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

The best ways you can help your home is by organizing yearly maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, such as your furnace and water heater, and getting a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a model on the market that fits for your house 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 home safe. They’re frequently sold as combination carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can usually be synced with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.

Here are a few other advantages of using them in your house:

    • Signals that there’s something wrong through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone.
    • Points out the problem spot, such as the kitchen or basement.
    • Can be silenced from your phone.
    • Automatically tests its sensors and batteries and reveals findings through a full report on your phone.
    • Warns you of low batteries with an alert on your phone, not an annoying noise in the middle of the night.
    • Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the kind.

The only problem with having Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the cost. These detectors are often much more expensive than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also offer many beneficial and important features you don’t get in a non-smart device.

When you’re getting a new device, it’s important to know where to place carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends installing a carbon monoxide detector at least five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is due to the fact carbon monoxide can rise with hot air.

We suggest having a detector on each floor of your house, especially outside bedrooms. You’ll want to be 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 reasonable. 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 typically 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 once a month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in need to be tested once a week. If you’re unsure how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s more or less straightforward. Depress the button to be certain your detector is functioning.

If your detector is hardwired, make sure to change the backup battery at least annually. 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 that sound or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping more frequently, it often indicates it has a low battery. Or, it’s reaching the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors last depends on the brand you have. In general, it’s between 5–10 years, but make sure to check instructions from your device’s manufacturer.

If you’re concerned about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s frequently due to the fact it’s detected dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continued, loud beeping, leave your home as quickly as possible and dial 911.

Now is a good time to ensure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly before heating season arrives. If you need to set up furnace maintenance or you’re interested in upgrading to smart carbon monoxide detectors, the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can assist you. Contact us at 866-397-3787 today and we’ll help you pick the perfect carbon monoxide detector for your house.

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