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

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

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 furnace is operating as it should, the gas is safely moved outside of your house. Cracks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to spill into your house, where ongoing exposure can be deadly.

Regardless of the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is avoidable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die from it annually. And another approximately 50,000 people go to the ER because of related issues, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

The best ways you can safeguard your home is by organizing regular 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 house and budget.

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, like the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it effortless to stay on top of keeping your family safe. They’re usually sold 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 advantages of installing them in your home:

  • Alerts you that there’s a problem through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone.
  • Reveals the problem spot, such as the kitchen or basement.
  • Can be quieted from your phone.
  • Automatically reviews its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a comprehensive report on your phone.
  • Alerts you of low batteries with an alert on your phone, not a screeching noise in the middle of the night.
  • Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the brand.

The only issue with having Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the price. These detectors are typically much more expensive than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also offer many useful and valuable features you can’t get in a non-smart device.

When you’re buying a new device, it’s vital to know where to place carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency encourages placing 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 advise installing a detector on each floor of your home, especially outside bedrooms. You’ll want to make 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. A couple 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 generally 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 once a week. If you’re unsure how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s fairly simple. Press the button to make sure your detector is working.

If your detector is hardwired, make sure to replace the backup battery at least every year. If it’s battery-powered, you’ll want to replace 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 generally 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 own. Most often, it’s around 5–10 years, but make sure to read the instructions from your system’s manufacturer.

If you’re concerned about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s often due to the fact it’s picking up hazardous levels of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with steady, loud beeping, leave your house as quickly as possible and contact 911.

Now is a good time to check 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 Finch Air Conditioning & Heating can assist you. Contact us at 281-407-9478 today and we’ll help you find the ideal carbon monoxide detector for your residence.