As autumn gets closer, now is a great time to start thinking about your house’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season begins, 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 product of combustion your gas furnace relies on to warm your residence. When your furnace is working as it should, the gas is securely pushed outside of your house. Fractures in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to seep into your residence, where long-term exposure can be deadly.
Regardless of the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, 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 ER thanks to related issues, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting.
The best ways you can safeguard your family is by scheduling regular maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, including your furnace and water heater, and using a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a model available that fits for your home and budget.
Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smart carbon monoxide detectors, including the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it effortless to stay on top of keeping your family safe. They’re usually offered 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 benefits of having them in your residence:
- Signals that there’s a problem through voice notifications, in addition to alerts on your phone.
- Pinpoints the problem room, such as the kitchen or basement.
- Can be shut off from your phone.
- Automatically tests its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a comprehensive report on your phone.
- Notifies you of dying batteries with an alert on your phone, not a loud sound in the middle of the night.
- Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the type.
The only problem with using Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the price tag. These detectors are typically much more expensive than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also provide 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 place carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends installing a carbon monoxide detector around five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is because carbon monoxide can rise with warm air.
We suggest having a detector on each floor of your residence, especially 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 economical. Some of the most popular models are Kidde carbon monoxide detectors and First Alert carbon monoxide detectors.
But they also have restricted 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 recommends testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms every month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in should be tested weekly. If you’re wondering how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s pretty easy. Depress the button to make sure your detector is working.
If your detector is hardwired, make sure to swap the backup battery at least annually. If it’s battery-powered, you’ll want to swap it once a month to avoid the annoying chirp in the middle of the night.
If you’re getting noise or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping intermittently, it usually signals it has a low battery. Or, it’s reaching the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors work depends on the brand you own. Typically, it’s around 5–10 years, but make sure to read the instructions from your device’s manufacturer.
If you’re wondering why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s likely due to the fact it’s detected hazardous concentration of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with steady, loud beeping, leave your residence as quickly as possible and contact 911.
Now is a good time to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is running like it’s supposed to 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 Strand Brothers Service Experts can assist you. Reach us at 512-592-3072 today and we’ll help you select the ideal carbon monoxide detector for your home.