Smart vs. Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Detectors: How to Select the Best Carbon Monoxide Detector for Your Home
As cooler weather arrives, now is a good time to get started thinking about your home’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season starts, 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 product of combustion your gas furnace depends on to warm your house. When your heating is running as it should, the gas is correctly vented outside of your residence. Breaks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to seep into your residence, where ongoing exposure can be fatal.
Although carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die because of it every year. And another approximately 50,000 people go to the ER due to related ailments, like headaches, dizziness and vomiting.
The best ways you can help your home is by organizing regular maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, such as your furnace and water heater, and using a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a model available to work for your home and budget.
Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smart carbon monoxide detectors, such as the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it simple to stay on top of keeping your loved ones safe. They’re often offered as combined carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can usually be used with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.
Here are a few other benefits of using them in your house:
- Signals that there’s an issue through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone.
- Points out the problem area, such as the kitchen or basement.
- Can be silenced from your phone.
- Automatically tests its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a comprehensive report on your phone.
- Warns you of low batteries with an alert on your phone, not a loud chirp in the middle of the night.
- Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the brand.
The only downside of installing Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the cost. These detectors are typically much pricier than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also include many beneficial and important features you won’t find in a non-smart device.
When you’re buying a new device, it’s crucial to learn where to attach carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests putting 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 suggest using a detector on each floor of your house, as well as 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 reasonable. Some of the most popular types 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 tend to 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 once a week. If you’re unsure how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s fairly easy. Use the button to be certain your detector is working.
If your detector is hardwired, make sure to replace the backup battery at least annually. 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 a chirp or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping intermittently, it generally signals it has a low battery. Or, it’s getting to the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors work depends on the brand you use. Typically, 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 frequently due to the fact it’s detecting dangerous concentration of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continuous, loud beeping, leave your residence as quickly as possible and contact 911.
Now is a great time to check your carbon monoxide detector is working normally 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 Robinson Service Experts can provide support. Get in touch with us at 847-306-8730 today and we’ll help you find the perfect carbon monoxide detector for your residence.