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

As autumn arrives, now is a great time to begin thinking about your residence’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season starts, 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 heat your house. When your furnace is running as it should, the gas is safely moved outside of your home. Cracks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to seep into your residence, where long-term exposure can be fatal.

Although carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. are killed by it each year. And another approximately 50,000 people are transported to the ER because of related ailments, such as headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

The best ways you can help your family is by scheduling annual maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, including your furnace and water heater, and using a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s an option available to work for your residence 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 family safe. They’re frequently available 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 perks of installing them in your residence:

  • Signals that there’s an issue through voice notifications, in addition to alerts on your phone.
  • Reveals the problem room, such as the kitchen or basement.
  • Can be silenced from your phone.
  • Automatically checks its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a full report on your phone.
  • Alerts you of dead 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 issue with having Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the price tag. These detectors are frequently much pricier than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also include many beneficial and valuable features you won’t receive in a non-smart device.

When you’re installing a new device, it’s crucial to know where to attach carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency encourages placing a carbon monoxide detector around five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is because carbon monoxide can rise with heated air.

We suggest using a detector on each floor of your home, including 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 affordable. A few of the most popular styles are Kidde carbon monoxide detectors and First Alert carbon monoxide detectors.

But they also have restricted 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 encourages testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms once a 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 pretty straightforward. Press the button to ensure your detector is working.

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

If you’re noticing that sound or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping regularly, it usually signals it has a low battery. Or, it’s getting to the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors work depends on the brand you use. Typically, it’s approximately 5–10 years, but make sure to check instructions from your device’s manufacturer.

If you’re wondering why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s likely due to the fact it’s picking up hazardous amounts of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with steady, loud beeping, leave your home as quickly as possible and dial 911.

Now is a good time to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working like it’s supposed to 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 can help. Reach us at (713) 352-7887 today and we’ll help you find the perfect carbon monoxide detector for your home.

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