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

As cooler weather gets closer, 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 likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning builds. 

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a product of combustion your gas furnace depends on to heat your home. When your heating is working like it’s supposed to, the gas is safely moved outside of your house. Fractures in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home, where prolonged exposure can be lethal. 

Despite the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is escapable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. are killed by it annually. And another approximately 50,000 people visit the hospital due to related issues, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting. 

The best ways you can protect your home is by organizing annual maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, including your furnace and water heater, and installing a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a solution out there to work for your house and budget. 

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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

Here are a few other advantages of having them in your house: 

  • Tells you there’s a problem through voice notifications, as well as alerts on your phone. 
  • Locates the problem room, such as the kitchen or basement. 
  • Can be shut off from your phone. 
  • Automatically checks its sensors and batteries and shares findings through a full 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 kind. 

The only downside of installing Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the expense. These detectors are often much higher-priced than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also include many useful and valuable features you don’t get in a non-smart device. 

When you’re getting a new device, it’s crucial to understand where to attach carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests installing a carbon monoxide detector at least five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is due to the fact carbon monoxide can rise with warm air. 

We suggest installing a detector on each floor of your house, as well as outside bedrooms. You’ll want to be 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 models 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 typically 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 once a 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. Depress the button to be certain your detector is working. 

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

If you’re getting that sound or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping intermittently, it often means it has a low battery. Or, it’s getting to the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors run depends on the brand you have. 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 picking up dangerous concentration of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with constant, loud beeping, leave your residence right away and contact 911. 

Now is an excellent time to ensure your carbon monoxide detector is running as it should before heating season begins. If you need to set up furnace maintenance or you’re interested in upgrading to smart carbon monoxide detectors, the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help. Contact us at 866-397-3787 today and we’ll help you find the perfect carbon monoxide detector for your home. 

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