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

As autumn arrives, now is an excellent time to begin thinking about your residence’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 dangerous gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a product of combustion your gas furnace relies on to warm your house. When your furnace is working properly, the gas is correctly moved outside of your residence. Cracks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your residence, where prolonged exposure can be deadly. 

Although carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. are killed by it each year. And another approximately 50,000 people visit the hospital because of related issues, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting. 

The best ways you can safeguard your family is by scheduling yearly maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, like your furnace and water heater, and getting a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a solution available that fits for your house and budget. 

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, including the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it straightforward to keep on top of keeping your loved ones safe. They’re usually available as dual-purpose carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can usually be linked with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi. 

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

  • Signals that there’s something wrong through voice notifications, as well as alerts on your phone. 
  • Locates the problem spot, such as the kitchen or basement. 
  • Can be quieted from your phone. 
  • Automatically checks its sensors and batteries and reveals findings through a comprehensive report on your phone. 
  • Notifies you of low batteries with an alert on your phone, not a screeching noise in the middle of the night. 
  • Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the kind. 

The only problem with installing Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the price tag. These detectors are often much pricier than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also offer many helpful and important features you can’t get in a non-smart device. 

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

We recommend using a detector on each floor of your residence, especially 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 reasonable. A few of the most popular models 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 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 concerned about how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s fairly simple. Depress the button to make sure your detector is working. 

If your detector is hardwired, make sure to swap the backup battery at least once a year. If it’s battery-powered, you’ll want to swap it once a month to bypass the dreaded chirp in the middle of the night. 

If you’re getting noise or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping regularly, it generally signals it has a low battery. Or, it’s getting to the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors last depends on the brand you own. In general, it’s between 5–10 years, but make sure to read the instructions from your specific manufacturer. 

If you’re confused about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s usually due to the fact it’s detected high levels of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with constant, loud beeping, leave your home right away and dial 911. 

Now is an excellent time to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is running like it’s supposed to 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 assist you. Get in touch with us at 866-397-3787 today and we’ll help you pick the ideal carbon monoxide detector for your residence. 

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