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

As cooler weather gets closer, now is an excellent time to begin thinking about your house’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 relies on to heat your home. When your heater is running as it should, the gas is safely vented outside of your house. Fractures in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to appear into your house, where long-term exposure can be deadly.

Despite the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is avoidable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. are killed by it every year. And another approximately 50,000 people go to the emergency room due to related ailments, like headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

The best ways you can protect your home is by setting up regular maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, including your furnace and water heater, and getting a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a solution on the market to work for your residence and budget.

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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

Here are a few other benefits of installing them in your house:

  • Alerts you that there’s trouble through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone.
  • Pinpoints the problem area, such as the kitchen or basement.
  • Can be shut off from your phone.
  • Automatically checks its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a comprehensive report on your phone.
  • Alerts you of dead batteries with an alert on your phone, not an annoying sound 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. These detectors are often much higher-priced than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also provide many helpful and important features you can’t receive in a non-smart device.

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

We encourage having a detector on each floor of your home, as well as outside bedrooms. You’ll want to be 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 few of the most popular models are Kidde carbon monoxide detectors and First Alert carbon monoxide detectors.

But they also have limited 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 urges testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms each 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 fairly simple. Press the button to make sure your detector is working.

If your detector is hardwired, make sure to change the backup battery at least annually. 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 noticing a chirp or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping more frequently, it often means 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 use. Typically, it’s between 5–10 years, but make sure to check instructions from your system’s manufacturer.

If you’re confused about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s often due to the fact it’s picking up high amounts 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 an excellent time to confirm your carbon monoxide detector is running normally 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 can help. Contact us at 303-647-5853 today and we’ll help you select the ideal carbon monoxide detector for your house.

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