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

As fall approaches, now is a good time to begin 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 builds. 

Carbon monoxide is a harmful gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a product of combustion your gas furnace relies on to warm your residence. When your heating is running properly, the gas is correctly pushed outside of your home. Cracks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to appear into your home, where prolonged exposure can be deadly. 

Although carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die from it annually. And another approximately 50,000 people go to the ER because of related ailments, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting. 

The best ways you can safeguard your loved ones is by organizing yearly maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, such as your furnace and water heater, and installing a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s an option available that fits for your residence and budget. 

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, like the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it simple to remain in control for keeping your loved ones safe. They’re usually available as combination carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can generally be used with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi. 

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

  • Signals that there’s trouble through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone. 
  • Points out the problem room, such as the kitchen or basement. 
  • Can be shut off from your phone. 
  • Automatically reviews its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a comprehensive report on your phone. 
  • Warns you of dying batteries with an alert on your phone, not a loud chirp in the middle of the night. 
  • Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the type. 

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 helpful and valuable features you won’t get in a non-smart device. 

When you’re installing a new device, it’s important to learn where to place carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends installing 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 warm air. 

We encourage having a detector on each floor of your home, especially 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 suggests testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms each month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in should be tested weekly. If you’re concerned about how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s fairly straightforward. Depress the button to be certain your detector is functioning. 

If your detector is hardwired, make sure to replace the backup battery at least annually. If it’s battery-powered, you’ll want to replace 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 intermittently, it generally 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 have. Most often, it’s approximately 5–10 years, but make sure to review instructions from your specific manufacturer. 

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

Now is a good time to ensure your carbon monoxide detector is working like it’s supposed to before heating season begins. 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 ideal carbon monoxide detector for your house. 

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