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

As autumn arrives, now is a good time to begin thinking about your home’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season begins, the Centers for Disease Control says the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning increases. 

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 heater is working as it should, the gas is safely vented outside of your home. Breaks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home, where ongoing exposure can be deadly. 

Despite the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is avoidable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die because of it each year. And another approximately 50,000 people go to the emergency room thanks to related issues, such as headaches, dizziness and vomiting. 

The best ways you can safeguard your loved ones is by organizing regular 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 a solution on the market that matches for your house and budget. 

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, like the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it straightforward to keep on top of keeping your home safe. They’re often offered as duo carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can typically be synced with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi. 

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

  • Tells you there’s an issue through voice notifications, as well as alerts on your phone. 
  • Reveals the problem area, such as the kitchen or basement. 
  • Can be quieted from your phone. 
  • Automatically tests its sensors and batteries and shares findings through a full report on your phone. 
  • Notifies you of dead batteries with an alert on your phone, not a screeching chirp in the middle of the night. 
  • Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the kind. 

The only downside of getting Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the expense. These detectors are often much more expensive than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also include many beneficial and worthy features you can’t get in a non-smart device. 

When you’re getting a new device, it’s vital to understand where to put 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 hot air. 

We advise installing a detector on each floor of your house, including outside bedrooms. You’ll want to be certain 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 economical. Some 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 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 encourages testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms once a month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in need to be tested every week. If you’re wondering how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s pretty easy. Use the button to be certain your detector is functioning. 

If your detector is hardwired, make sure to change the backup battery at least every year. 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 getting noise or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping more frequently, it usually signals 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. Typically, it’s between 5–10 years, but make sure to read the instructions from your system’s manufacturer. 

If you’re wondering why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s often due to the fact it’s detected high levels of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continued, loud beeping, leave your home as quickly as possible and contact 911. 

Now is an excellent time to confirm your carbon monoxide detector is functioning properly 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 & Plumbing can provide support. Reach us at 866-397-3787 today and we’ll help you find the perfect carbon monoxide detector for your residence. 

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