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

As fall approaches, now is a good time to begin thinking about your house’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season starts, the Centers for Disease Control says the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases. 

Carbon monoxide is a harmful gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a byproduct of combustion your gas furnace relies on to add warmth to your residence. When your heater is operating properly, the gas is correctly transported outside of your house. Breaks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to appear into your home, where ongoing exposure can be deadly. 

Regardless of the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, 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 hospital thanks to related symptoms, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting. 

The best ways you can help your family is by setting up 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 a solution out there that matches for your residence and budget. 

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, such as the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it straightforward to remain in control for keeping your home safe. They’re often available as combination carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can usually be synced with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi. 

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

  • Tells you there’s an issue through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone. 
  • Reveals the problem area, such as the kitchen or basement. 
  • Can be shut off from your phone. 
  • Automatically reviews its sensors and batteries and shares findings through a full report on your phone. 
  • Warns you of dying 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 downside of using Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the price. These detectors are frequently much pricier than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also provide many helpful and worthy features you don’t find in a non-smart device. 

When you’re installing a new device, it’s crucial to learn where to place carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency encourages installing a carbon monoxide detector around five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is because carbon monoxide can rise with warm air. 

We advise using a detector on each floor of your house, especially 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 affordable. A couple of the most popular types are Kidde carbon monoxide detectors and First Alert carbon monoxide detectors. 

But they also have limited features that aren’t compatible 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 ought to be tested every week. If you’re concerned about how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s pretty easy. Use the button to ensure your detector is running. 

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

If you’re hearing a chirp or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping intermittently, it generally signals 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 around 5–10 years, but make sure to review instructions from your system’s manufacturer. 

If you’re concerned about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s often due to the fact it’s detecting hazardous concentration of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continuous, loud beeping, leave your home as quickly as possible and call 911. 

Now is a good time to check your carbon monoxide detector is working properly before heating season arrives. If you need to schedule furnace maintenance or you’re interested in upgrading to smart carbon monoxide detectors, the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help. Reach us at 866-397-3787 today and we’ll help you find the perfect carbon monoxide detector for your home. 

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