As autumn approaches, now is a great time to start thinking about your home’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season is underway, the Centers for Disease Control says the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning builds.
Carbon monoxide is a harmful gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a byproduct of combustion your gas furnace uses to heat your residence. When your heater is operating properly, the gas is correctly 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 prolonged exposure can be deadly.
Although carbon monoxide poisoning is escapable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die from it every year. And another approximately 50,000 people visit the ER because of related symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness and vomiting.
The best ways you can protect your family is by setting up regular maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, such as your furnace and water heater, and getting a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a solution available to work for your house and budget.
Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smart carbon monoxide detectors, such as the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it simple to stay on top of keeping your family safe. They’re often sold 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 installing them in your house:
- Tells you there’s trouble through voice notifications, as well as alerts on your phone.
- Pinpoints the problem area, such as the kitchen or basement.
- Can be quieted from your phone.
- Automatically checks its sensors and batteries and reveals findings through a comprehensive report on your phone.
- Notifies you of dead batteries with an alert on your phone, not a loud chirp in the middle of the night.
- Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the brand.
The only problem with getting Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the cost. These detectors are often much higher-priced than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also provide many useful and worthy features you won’t get in a non-smart device.
When you’re buying a new device, it’s important to learn where to put carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests putting a carbon monoxide detector at least five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is since carbon monoxide can rise with hot air.
We recommend installing a detector on each floor of your house, especially 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 affordable. A couple of the most popular styles 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 usually 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 each 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 simple. Press 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 swap it once a month to avoid the dreaded chirp in the middle of the night.
If you’re noticing noise or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping intermittently, it usually means 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 own. In general, it’s approximately 5–10 years, but make sure to review instructions from your system’s manufacturer.
If you’re concerned about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s usually due to the fact it’s detected hazardous levels of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continued, loud beeping, leave your residence right away and call 911.
Now is a great time to confirm your carbon monoxide detector is running like it’s supposed to before heating season begins. If you need to schedule furnace maintenance or you’re interested in upgrading to smart carbon monoxide detectors, the Experts at Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare can help. Reach us at 289-813-5566 today and we’ll help you find the perfect carbon monoxide detector for your house.