As autumn gets closer, now is a good time to begin thinking about your home’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season starts, the Centers for Disease Control says the potential of carbon monoxide poisoning goes up.
Carbon monoxide is a harmful gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a product of combustion your gas furnace depends on to add warmth to your home. When your furnace is working properly, the gas is safely moved outside of your residence. Fractures in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to appear into your residence, where long-term exposure can be deadly.
Although carbon monoxide poisoning is avoidable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die because of it each year. And another approximately 50,000 people visit the ER thanks to related symptoms, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting.
The best ways you can help your family is by organizing 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 an option on the market that matches for your home and budget.
Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smart carbon monoxide detectors, like the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it easy to stay on top of keeping your family safe. They’re often offered as combined carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can typically be linked with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.
Here are a few other perks of using them in your residence:
- Tells you there’s an issue through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone.
- Reveals the problem room, such as the kitchen or basement.
- Can be quieted from your phone.
- Automatically checks its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a full report on your phone.
- Notifies you of dead batteries with an alert on your phone, not an annoying noise in the middle of the night.
- Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the type.
The only issue with using Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the price. These detectors are often much pricier than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also include many useful and important features you can’t find in a non-smart device.
When you’re buying a new device, it’s vital to learn where to place carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends installing a carbon monoxide detector at least five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is because carbon monoxide can rise with hot air.
We advise 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 models 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 tend to have a digital display and test button, which you’ll have to remember to use.
The National Fire Protection Association encourages testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms each 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 easy. Use the button to ensure your detector is running.
If your detector is hardwired, make sure to replace the backup battery at least once a year. If it’s battery-powered, you’ll want to swap it once a month to skip the irritating chirp in the middle of the night.
If you’re noticing noise or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping more frequently, it often indicates it has a low battery. Or, it’s approaching the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors run depends on the brand you have. Typically, it’s between 5–10 years, but make sure to read the instructions from your specific manufacturer.
If you’re concerned about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s likely due to the fact it’s detecting hazardous amounts of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continuous, loud beeping, leave your home immediately and call 911.
Now is an excellent time to confirm your carbon monoxide detector is running properly 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 provide support. Reach us at 352-414-4006 today and we’ll help you find the best carbon monoxide detector for your house.