Smart vs. Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Detectors: How to Choose the Best Carbon Monoxide Detector for Your Residence
As fall gets closer, now is a great time to begin thinking about your home’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season begins, the Centers for Disease Control says the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning goes up.
Carbon monoxide is a harmful gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a result of combustion your gas furnace relies on to warm your residence. When your heater is operating as it should, the gas is correctly transported outside of your house. Breaks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home, where prolonged exposure can be lethal.
Regardless of the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is avoidable, 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 hospital because of related issues, like headaches, dizziness and vomiting.
The best ways you can help your home is by scheduling regular 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 to work for your house and budget.
Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smart carbon monoxide detectors, like the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it easy to keep on top of keeping your family safe. They’re usually offered as combination carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can typically be linked with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.
Here are a few other benefits of having them in your residence:
- Signals that there’s something wrong through voice notifications, as well as alerts on your phone.
- Locates the problem room, such as the kitchen or basement.
- Can be shut off from your phone.
- Automatically reviews its sensors and batteries and shares findings through a useful report on your phone.
- Informs 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 problem with getting Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the expense. These detectors are often much higher-priced than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also provide many useful and important features you won’t find in a non-smart device.
When you’re buying a new device, it’s vital to learn 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 since carbon monoxide can rise with hot air.
We advise installing a detector on each floor of your home, as well as outside bedrooms. You’ll want to make 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 economical. A few of the most popular styles are Kidde carbon monoxide detectors and First Alert carbon monoxide detectors.
But they also have fewer features that don’t work with your phone or smart home devices. They usually have a digital display and test button, which you’ll have to remember to use.
The National Fire Protection Association advises testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms each month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in ought to be tested every week. If you’re wondering how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s pretty straightforward. Depress the button to make sure your detector is running.
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 irritating chirp in the middle of the night.
If you’re noticing that sound or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping more frequently, it often signals it has a low battery. Or, it’s approaching the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors work depends on the brand you use. In general, it’s between 5–10 years, but make sure to check instructions from your device’s manufacturer.
If you’re concerned about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s often due to the fact it’s sensing hazardous amounts of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continued, loud beeping, leave your home immediately and call 911.
Now is an excellent time to ensure your carbon monoxide detector is working as it should before heating season arrives. 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. Contact us at 925-364-5427 today and we’ll help you pick the best carbon monoxide detector for your house.