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

As autumn arrives, now is a great time to get started thinking about your home’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season begins, 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 byproduct of combustion your gas furnace depends on to heat your residence. When your furnace is working as it should, the gas is securely vented outside of your residence. Fractures in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to seep into your house, where ongoing exposure can be lethal. 

Regardless of the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is escapable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die from it each year. And another approximately 50,000 people go to the emergency room because of related issues, such as headaches, dizziness and vomiting. 

The best ways you can protect your home is by scheduling 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 to work for your home and budget. 

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, including the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it easy to keep on top of keeping your home safe. They’re usually available as combination carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can usually be used with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi. 

Here are a few other perks of using them in your house: 

  • Tells you there’s a problem through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone. 
  • Locates 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 full report on your phone. 
  • Notifies you of dying 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 using Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the expense. These detectors are typically much more expensive than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also provide many helpful and worthy features you can’t find in a non-smart device. 

When you’re getting a new device, it’s vital to learn where to place carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency encourages putting a carbon monoxide detector approximately five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is because carbon monoxide can rise with warm air. 

We recommend having a detector on each floor of your residence, including 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 few of the most popular types are Kidde carbon monoxide detectors and First Alert carbon monoxide detectors. 

But they also have limited 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 advises testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms once a month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in need to be tested once a week. If you’re wondering how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s pretty straightforward. Use the button to be certain your detector is running. 

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

If you’re noticing a chirp or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping more frequently, it usually indicates 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 around 5–10 years, but make sure to check instructions from your specific manufacturer. 

If you’re concerned about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s usually due to the fact it’s detected hazardous concentration of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continuous, loud beeping, leave your residence immediately and contact 911. 

Now is a great time to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is functioning as it should before heating season starts. 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 assist you. Contact us at 866-397-3787 today and we’ll help you pick the best carbon monoxide detector for your residence. 

  • How to Find an Effective HVAC System

    In terms of keeping your home comfortable year-round, nothing is more critical than choosing the right heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. This determination impacts your daily comfort, monthly utility costs and all-around home efficiency. However, with so many system types,... Continue reading

  • Yearly HVAC Maintenance Guidelines

    Now that the air gets colder, you know it’s time to get your home ready for the cooler months ahead. Your heating system is key to maintaining a cozy, warm environment. A well-maintained furnace delivers the comfort you want while using a smaller amount of energy. Regular inspections also make... Continue reading

  • Ways to Increase Your Furnace’s Energy Efficiency

    With winter on the way, you might be looking at your energy bills with a sense of unease. The freezing months often bring an increase in electricity or natural gas costs, depending on what fuel source you use to heat your home and hot water. But don’t fret—with a suitable approach, you can... Continue reading