Smart vs. Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Detectors: How to Select the Best Carbon Monoxide Detector for Your Home
As cooler weather approaches, now is a great time to get started thinking about your house’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season begins, the Centers for Disease Control says the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning builds.
Carbon monoxide is a hazardous gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a product of combustion your gas furnace uses to add warmth to your home. When your heater is running properly, the gas is securely 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.
Despite the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, 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 because of related symptoms, like headaches, dizziness and vomiting.
The best ways you can help your loved ones is by scheduling regular maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, including your furnace and water heater, and installing a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s an option out there to work for your home and budget.
Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smart carbon monoxide detectors, like the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it simple to keep on top of keeping your family safe. They’re usually sold as combination carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can usually be linked with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.
Here are a few other perks of using them in your house:
- Signals that there’s an issue through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone.
- Points out the problem spot, such as the kitchen or basement.
- Can be shut off from your phone.
- Automatically reviews its sensors and batteries and reveals findings through a useful 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 issue with installing Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the cost. These detectors are sometimes much pricier than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also provide many beneficial and worthy features you won’t receive in a non-smart device.
When you’re getting a new device, it’s important to know where to attach carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests placing 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 recommend having a detector on each floor of your house, as well as outside bedrooms. You’ll want to be certain 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 affordable. 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 recommends testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms once a month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in should be tested every week. If you’re concerned about how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s pretty simple. Use the button to be certain your detector is working.
If your detector is hardwired, make sure to replace the backup battery at least once a year. If it’s battery-powered, you’ll want to replace it once a month to skip the irritating chirp in the middle of the night.
If you’re getting a chirp or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping intermittently, it generally indicates it has a low battery. Or, it’s approaching the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors run depends on the brand you use. Most often, it’s around 5–10 years, but make sure to review instructions from your device’s manufacturer.
If you’re wondering why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s usually due to the fact it’s detected hazardous levels of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with steady, loud beeping, leave your house immediately and dial 911.
Now is a good time to check your carbon monoxide detector is working as it should 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 Coastal Service Experts can provide support. Get in touch with us at 912-208-2399 today and we’ll help you find the perfect carbon monoxide detector for your home.