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

As fall gets closer, now is a good time to get started thinking about your home’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season begins, the Centers for Disease Control says the potential of carbon monoxide poisoning builds.

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a result of combustion your gas furnace uses to warm your house. When your heating is working like it’s supposed to, the gas is securely transported outside of your house. Breaks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to appear into your residence, where prolonged exposure can be fatal.

Although carbon monoxide poisoning is escapable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. are killed by it annually. And another approximately 50,000 people go to the ER thanks to related symptoms, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

The best ways you can protect your family is by setting up annual 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 matches for your home and budget.

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, including the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it easy to keep on top of keeping your loved ones safe. They’re frequently offered as combined carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can usually be linked with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.

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

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

The only downside of getting Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the price. These detectors are often much pricier than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also include many useful and worthy features you won’t find in a non-smart device.

When you’re buying a new device, it’s important to learn where to place carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends placing a carbon monoxide detector approximately five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is due to the fact carbon monoxide can rise with heated air.

We encourage installing a detector on each floor of your home, including outside bedrooms. You’ll want to make sure the alarm 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 couple of the most popular styles are Kidde carbon monoxide detectors and First Alert carbon monoxide detectors.

But they also have limited features that don’t link with your phone or smart home devices. They usually 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 once a month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in should be tested once a week. If you’re unsure how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s pretty straightforward. Press the button to ensure your detector is functioning.

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 replace it once a month to avoid the annoying chirp in the middle of the night.

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

If you’re wondering why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s likely due to the fact it’s detected hazardous concentration of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continuous, loud beeping, leave your home right away and dial 911.

Now is an excellent time to ensure your carbon monoxide detector is running as it should before heating season arrives. 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 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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