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

As autumn approaches, now is a great time to start thinking about your residence’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season starts, the Centers for Disease Control says the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning increases.

Carbon monoxide is a harmful gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a product of combustion your gas furnace uses to add warmth to your residence. When your heater is operating as it should, the gas is securely moved outside of your house. Breaks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to spill into your house, where ongoing exposure can be fatal.

Although carbon monoxide poisoning is escapable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die because of it each year. And another approximately 50,000 people are transported to the ER due to related issues, like headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

The best ways you can safeguard your family is by setting up yearly 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 a solution out there that fits for your home and budget.

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, including the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it simple to keep on top of keeping your loved ones safe. They’re frequently sold as dual-purpose carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can generally be used with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.

Here are a few other perks of having them in your home:

    • Tells you there’s a problem through voice notifications, in addition to alerts on your phone.
    • Pinpoints the problem room, such as the kitchen or basement.
    • Can be quieted from your phone.
    • Automatically tests its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a useful report on your phone.
    • Warns you of dying 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 problem with using Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the price tag. These detectors are typically much more expensive than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also provide many useful and valuable features you can’t get in a non-smart device.

When you’re installing a new device, it’s vital to understand where to put carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends putting 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 recommend installing a detector on each floor of your residence, especially outside bedrooms. You’ll want to make sure the alarm 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 fewer 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 every month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in need to be tested every week. If you’re wondering how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s more or less simple. Use the button to ensure your detector is working.

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

If you’re hearing noise or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping regularly, it usually means 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 use. In general, it’s between 5–10 years, but make sure to review instructions from your system’s manufacturer.

If you’re confused about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s usually due to the fact it’s sensing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continued, loud beeping, leave your residence immediately and dial 911.

Now is a great time to check your carbon monoxide detector is running properly 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 Norrell Service Experts can provide support. Contact us at 205-267-0023 today and we’ll help you pick the ideal carbon monoxide detector for your house.

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