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

As cooler weather gets closer, now is an excellent time to start thinking about your residence’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season is underway, the Centers for Disease Control says the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning builds.

Carbon monoxide is a hazardous gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a result of combustion your gas furnace uses to heat your home. When your heating is running as it should, the gas is securely moved outside of your home. Fractures in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to appear into your house, where long-term exposure can be fatal.

Despite the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is avoidable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die from it every year. And another approximately 50,000 people go to the hospital because of related ailments, such as headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

The best ways you can protect your loved ones is by setting up yearly maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, such as your furnace and water heater, and installing a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a model available that fits for your house and budget.

H2: Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, such as the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it easy to stay on top of keeping your home safe. They’re frequently offered as dual-purpose carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can typically be synced 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 a problem through voice notifications, as well as 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 shares findings through a full report on your phone.
  • Warns you of dead batteries with an alert on your phone, not a loud noise in the middle of the night.
  • Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the type.

The only issue with using 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 helpful and worthy features you don’t find in a non-smart device.

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

We suggest installing a detector on each floor of your residence, 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 economical. A couple of the most popular types are Kidde carbon monoxide detectors and First Alert carbon monoxide detectors.

But they also have restricted 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 unsure how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s pretty easy. Use the button to be certain your detector is running.

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

If you’re getting a chirp or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping intermittently, it usually signals it has a low battery. Or, it’s reaching the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors work depends on the brand you use. Most often, it’s around 5–10 years, but make sure to check instructions from your system’s manufacturer.

If you’re concerned about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s usually due to the fact it’s sensing hazardous concentration of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continuous, loud beeping, leave your home right away and call 911.

Now is a great time to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working as it should before heating season arrives. If you need to request furnace maintenance or you’re interested in upgrading to smart carbon monoxide detectors, the Experts at McKinley Heating Service Experts can provide support. Get in touch with us at 780-800-7092 today and we’ll help you select the perfect carbon monoxide detector for your residence.

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