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

As autumn arrives, now is an excellent time to start thinking about your residence’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 hazardous gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a byproduct of combustion your gas furnace uses to warm your home. When your heating is working properly, the gas is securely pushed outside of your residence. Breaks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to appear into your house, where ongoing exposure can be deadly.

Regardless of the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. are killed by it annually. And another approximately 50,000 people visit the emergency room thanks to related ailments, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

The best ways you can safeguard your family is by setting up regular 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 solution available that fits for your house and budget.

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, such as the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it effortless to remain in control for keeping your loved ones safe. They’re often offered as combined carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can typically be used with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.

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

    • Signals that there’s an issue through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone.
    • Reveals the problem area, such as the kitchen or basement.
    • Can be silenced from your phone.
    • Automatically reviews its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a comprehensive report on your phone.
    • Informs you of dying 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 type.

The only downside of using 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 provide many helpful and important features you don’t get in a non-smart device.

When you’re installing a new device, it’s vital to learn where to place carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests installing 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 recommend installing a detector on each floor of your house, as well as outside bedrooms. You’ll want to make 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 affordable. A couple of the most popular models are Kidde carbon monoxide detectors and First Alert carbon monoxide detectors.

But they also have fewer features that don’t link 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 each month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in ought to be tested once a week. If you’re concerned about how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s pretty simple. Use the button to make sure your detector is running.

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

If you’re hearing noise or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping regularly, it often indicates it has a low battery. Or, it’s reaching the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors work depends on the brand you own. Most often, it’s approximately 5–10 years, but make sure to review instructions from your system’s manufacturer.

If you’re wondering why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s usually due to the fact it’s detecting high levels of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with steady, loud beeping, leave your residence as quickly as possible and contact 911.

Now is a good time to ensure your carbon monoxide detector is running as it should before heating season starts. 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 help. Get in touch with us at 866-397-3787 today and we’ll help you select the perfect carbon monoxide detector for your house.

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