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

As fall gets closer, now is a good time to start thinking about your residence’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season is underway, the Centers for Disease Control says the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning goes up.

Carbon monoxide is a harmful gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a byproduct of combustion your gas furnace depends on to heat your home. When your heating is running as it should, the gas is correctly transported outside of your house. Fractures in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home, where long-term 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 thanks to related issues, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

The best ways you can help your home is by organizing annual 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 an option out there that fits for your house and budget.

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, like the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it easy to stay on top of keeping your family safe. They’re frequently available as duo carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can typically be linked with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.

Here are a few other advantages of using them in your home:

  • Tells you there’s trouble through voice notifications, in addition to alerts on your phone.
  • Points out the problem area, such as the kitchen or basement.
  • Can be silenced from your phone.
  • Automatically checks its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a comprehensive 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 brand.

The only issue with using Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the expense. These detectors are frequently much more expensive than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also offer many beneficial and worthy features you don’t get in a non-smart device.

When you’re buying a new device, it’s crucial to learn where to put carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends installing a carbon monoxide detector approximately five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is since carbon monoxide can rise with heated air.

We suggest having a detector on each floor of your home, including outside bedrooms. You’ll want to make sure the noise will wake you up.

Battery-Powered and Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Plug-in and battery-powered carbon monoxide detectors are the most affordable. Some 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 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 should be tested weekly. If you’re concerned about how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s fairly simple. Depress 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 change it once a month to skip the irritating chirp in the middle of the night.

If you’re noticing that sound or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping regularly, it generally signals it has a low battery. Or, it’s approaching the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors last depends on the brand you own. Most often, it’s between 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 likely due to the fact it’s detecting high levels of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with constant, loud beeping, leave your home immediately and call 911.

Now is an excellent time to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is functioning like it’s supposed to before heating season starts. If you need to request furnace maintenance or you’re interested in upgrading to smart carbon monoxide detectors, the Experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can assist you. Reach us at 330-236-4793 today and we’ll help you find the ideal carbon monoxide detector for your house.

Contact Us