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

As autumn approaches, now is an excellent time to begin thinking about your house’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season starts, the Centers for Disease Control says the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning goes up. 

Carbon monoxide is a harmful gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a result of combustion your gas furnace uses to heat your house. When your furnace is operating as it should, the gas is correctly pushed outside of your home. Fractures in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to spill into your home, 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 because of it annually. And another approximately 50,000 people are transported to the hospital thanks to related issues, like headaches, dizziness and vomiting. 

The best ways you can safeguard your family is by setting up annual maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, like your furnace and water heater, and installing a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a model on the market that fits for your residence and budget. 

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, including the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it effortless to remain in control for keeping your family safe. They’re usually available as duo carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can generally be linked with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi. 

Here are a few other advantages 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 area, such as the kitchen or basement. 
  • Can be shut off from your phone. 
  • Automatically checks its sensors and batteries and shares findings through a comprehensive report on your phone. 
  • Alerts you of low 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 type. 

The only downside of getting 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 provide many useful and valuable features you can’t receive in a non-smart device. 

When you’re installing a new device, it’s important to learn where to put carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency encourages placing 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 home, including outside bedrooms. You’ll want to be certain 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 economical. Some of the most popular types are Kidde carbon monoxide detectors and First Alert carbon monoxide detectors. 

But they also have fewer features that don’t work with your phone or smart home devices. They usually 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 each month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in should be tested once a week. If you’re wondering 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 change the backup battery at least annually. If it’s battery-powered, you’ll want to swap it once a month to bypass 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 often signals it has a low battery. Or, it’s reaching the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors last depends on the brand you have. Typically, it’s approximately 5–10 years, but make sure to check instructions from your specific manufacturer. 

If you’re confused about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s likely due to the fact it’s picking up high concentration of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with constant, loud beeping, leave your home right away and dial 911. 

Now is a great time to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is running as it should before heating season starts. If you need to request furnace maintenance or you’re interested in upgrading to smart carbon monoxide detectors, the Experts at Mid-State Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing can assist you. Get in touch with us at 615-799-0427 today and we’ll help you select the ideal carbon monoxide detector for your house. 

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