As cooler weather gets closer, now is a great time to get started thinking about your house’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season starts, the Centers for Disease Control says the potential of carbon monoxide poisoning builds.
Carbon monoxide is a hazardous gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a byproduct of combustion your gas furnace relies on to add warmth to your house. When your heating is running properly, the gas is safely moved outside of your residence. Breaks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to seep into your residence, where long-term exposure can be lethal.
Although carbon monoxide poisoning is escapable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die from it annually. And another approximately 50,000 people are transported to the hospital because of related ailments, like headaches, dizziness and vomiting.
The best ways you can safeguard your home is by setting up yearly maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, such as your furnace and water heater, and installing a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a solution on the market that matches for your home and budget.
Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smart carbon monoxide detectors, such as the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it easy to remain in control for keeping your family safe. They’re often offered as combination carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can usually be linked with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.
Here are a few other advantages of having them in your home:
- Tells you there’s trouble through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone.
- Pinpoints the problem area, such as the kitchen or basement.
- Can be shut off from your phone.
- Automatically checks its sensors and batteries and reveals findings through a comprehensive report on your phone.
- Alerts you of low batteries with an alert on your phone, not a screeching chirp in the middle of the night.
- Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the type.
The only problem with installing 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 include many beneficial and worthy features you don’t find in a non-smart device.
When you’re getting a new device, it’s important to know where to put carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends 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 hot air.
We suggest having a detector on each floor of your residence, including outside bedrooms. You’ll want to be 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. Some 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 tend to have a digital display and test button, which you’ll have to remember to use.
The National Fire Protection Association suggests testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms every 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 fairly straightforward. Depress the button to be certain your detector is functioning.
If your detector is hardwired, make sure to swap the backup battery at least every year. If it’s battery-powered, you’ll want to replace it once a month to avoid the dreaded chirp in the middle of the night.
If you’re noticing a chirp or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping intermittently, it generally indicates 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. Typically, it’s between 5–10 years, but make sure to check instructions from your specific manufacturer.
If you’re wondering why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s likely due to the fact it’s detected hazardous amounts of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continuous, loud beeping, leave your home as quickly as possible and call 911.
Now is a great time to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is functioning normally before heating season begins. 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 can assist you. Get in touch with us at 289-273-2229 today and we’ll help you find the best carbon monoxide detector for your home.