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

As fall arrives, now is a good time to get started thinking about your residence’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season is underway, the Centers for Disease Control says the potential of carbon monoxide poisoning increases. 

Carbon monoxide is a hazardous gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a product of combustion your gas furnace depends on to warm your home. When your furnace is operating like it’s supposed to, the gas is safely moved outside of your residence. Cracks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to seep into your residence, where prolonged exposure can be deadly. 

Despite the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is escapable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. are killed by it every year. And another approximately 50,000 people visit the hospital 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, such as your furnace and water heater, and using a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a model out there that fits for your residence and budget. 

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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

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

  • Signals that there’s something wrong through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone. 
  • Reveals the problem room, such as the kitchen or basement. 
  • Can be shut off from your phone. 
  • Automatically checks its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a full report on your phone. 
  • Warns you of dead batteries with an alert on your phone, not a screeching sound in the middle of the night. 
  • Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the brand. 

The only issue with getting Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the price tag. These detectors are often much higher-priced than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also provide many useful and valuable features you can’t find in a non-smart device. 

When you’re getting a new device, it’s crucial to understand 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 because carbon monoxide can rise with hot air. 

We recommend having a detector on each floor of your home, especially outside bedrooms. You’ll want to be certain 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. Some of the most popular types 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 generally 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 every month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in should be tested weekly. If you’re wondering how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s pretty easy. Depress the button to be certain your detector is working. 

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

If you’re getting that sound or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping regularly, it usually means 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 have. Most often, it’s around 5–10 years, but make sure to review instructions from your specific manufacturer. 

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

Now is a great time to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is running as it should before heating season starts. If you need to request 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. Get in touch with us at 866-397-3787 today and we’ll help you pick the perfect carbon monoxide detector for your residence. 

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