As cooler weather arrives, now is a good time to start thinking about your home’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season is underway, 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 result of combustion your gas furnace relies on to warm your residence. When your heating is working like it’s supposed to, the gas is correctly moved outside of your home. Cracks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to appear into your residence, where prolonged exposure can be lethal.
Although carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die from it each year. And another approximately 50,000 people are transported to the emergency room because of related issues, like headaches, dizziness and vomiting.
The best ways you can protect your family 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 on the market that fits for your home and budget.
Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smart carbon monoxide detectors, like the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it effortless to keep on top of keeping your home safe. They’re usually sold as dual-purpose carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can typically be used with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.
Here are a few other benefits of having them in your home:
- Alerts you that there’s a problem through voice notifications, in addition to alerts on your phone.
- Locates the problem spot, such as the kitchen or basement.
- Can be quieted from your phone.
- Automatically tests its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a comprehensive report on your phone.
- Informs 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 type.
The only issue with having 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 provide many beneficial and valuable features you can’t receive in a non-smart device.
When you’re getting a new device, it’s crucial to know where to attach carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends putting a carbon monoxide detector around five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is because carbon monoxide can rise with heated air.
We suggest using a detector on each floor of your home, especially 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. Some of the most popular styles 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 typically have a digital display and test button, which you’ll have to remember to use.
The National Fire Protection Association urges testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms each month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in ought to be tested weekly. If you’re wondering how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s fairly straightforward. Depress the button to ensure your detector is functioning.
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 swap it once a month to avoid the annoying chirp in the middle of the night.
If you’re hearing a chirp or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping more frequently, it generally signals 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 use. In general, it’s around 5–10 years, but make sure to check instructions from your device’s manufacturer.
If you’re confused about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s usually due to the fact it’s picking up high concentration of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continuous, loud beeping, leave your residence right away and dial 911.
Now is a good time to confirm your carbon monoxide detector is functioning like it’s supposed to 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 Barlow Service Experts can provide support. Reach us at 801-436-8985 today and we’ll help you pick the ideal carbon monoxide detector for your home.