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

As autumn approaches, now is an excellent time to get started thinking about your residence’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season begins, the Centers for Disease Control says the potential of carbon monoxide poisoning builds.

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a byproduct of combustion your gas furnace depends on to heat your home. When your furnace is working as it should, the gas is safely pushed outside of your residence. Breaks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to spill into your home, where prolonged exposure can be lethal.

Regardless of the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is avoidable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die from it each year. And another approximately 50,000 people visit the hospital thanks to related issues, such as headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

The best ways you can help your family is by organizing regular maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, including your furnace and water heater, and using a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s an option on the market to work for your house and budget.

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, like the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it effortless to remain in control for keeping your loved ones safe. They’re usually offered as duo carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can generally be used with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.

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

  • Alerts you that there’s something wrong through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone.
  • Locates the problem spot, such as the kitchen or basement.
  • Can be silenced from your phone.
  • Automatically tests its sensors and batteries and shares findings through a full report on your phone.
  • Notifies you of dead 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 brand.

The only downside of having Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the price tag. These detectors are frequently much higher-priced than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also include many beneficial and important features you don’t receive in a non-smart device.

When you’re buying a new device, it’s vital to understand where to place carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends placing a carbon monoxide detector around five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is because carbon monoxide can rise with hot air.

We recommend using a detector on each floor of your house, including outside bedrooms. You’ll want to be sure 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. Some 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 suggests testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms each month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in need to be tested weekly. If you’re concerned about how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s pretty simple. Press the button to make sure your detector is working.

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

If you’re noticing a chirp or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping more frequently, it usually 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 around 5–10 years, but make sure to read the instructions from your specific manufacturer.

If you’re concerned about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s likely due to the fact it’s detected dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continued, loud beeping, leave your house right away and contact 911.

Now is an excellent time to ensure your carbon monoxide detector is running 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 Becht/Givens Service Experts can assist you. Get in touch with us at 502-785-8230 today and we’ll help you select the ideal carbon monoxide detector for your residence.

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