As fall gets closer, now is a great time to start thinking about your home’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season begins, the Centers for Disease Control says the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases.
Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a product of combustion your gas furnace relies on to add warmth to your house. When your heater is working properly, the gas is securely vented outside of your home. Fractures in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to spill into your residence, where long-term exposure can be fatal.
Regardless of the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is avoidable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. are killed by it every year. And another approximately 50,000 people go to the hospital thanks to related ailments, such as headaches, dizziness and vomiting.
The best ways you can protect your loved ones is by setting up annual maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, such as your furnace and water heater, and using a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a model available to work for your home and budget.
Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smart carbon monoxide detectors, such as the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it straightforward to keep on top of keeping your home safe. They’re frequently offered as dual-purpose carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can usually be synced with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.
Here are a few other benefits of having them in your home:
- Signals that there’s a problem through voice notifications, as well as alerts on your phone.
- Locates the problem room, such as the kitchen or basement.
- Can be shut off from your phone.
- Automatically tests its sensors and batteries and reveals findings through a full report on your phone.
- Warns 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 downside of having Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the price tag. These detectors are typically much pricier than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also provide many helpful and valuable features you can’t find in a non-smart device.
When you’re getting a new device, it’s vital to understand where to put carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends placing a carbon monoxide detector around five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is due to the fact carbon monoxide can rise with heated air.
We recommend using a detector on each floor of your house, as well as outside bedrooms. You’ll want to be 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 affordable. Some of the most popular types are Kidde carbon monoxide detectors and First Alert carbon monoxide detectors.
But they also have restricted 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 advises testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms every month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in should be tested every week. If you’re wondering how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s fairly simple. Use the button to make sure your detector is functioning.
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 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 work depends on the brand you own. Most often, it’s approximately 5–10 years, but make sure to check 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 detecting dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with steady, loud beeping, leave your home right away and dial 911.
Now is a good time to check your carbon monoxide detector is working like it’s supposed to 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 can help. Reach us at today and we’ll help you pick the best carbon monoxide detector for your house.