As fall approaches, now is a great time to get started thinking about your home’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season is underway, the Centers for Disease Control says the potential 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 relies on to heat your home. When your furnace is operating properly, the gas is safely vented outside of your home. Fractures in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to seep into your home, where prolonged exposure can be lethal.
Although carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die from it annually. And another approximately 50,000 people go to the ER because of related ailments, such as headaches, dizziness and vomiting.
The best ways you can help your family is by setting up regular maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, like your furnace and water heater, and using a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a model 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 home safe. They’re often sold as duo carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can usually be synced with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.
Here are a few other advantages of having them in your home:
- Tells you there’s a problem through voice notifications, as well as alerts on your phone.
- Pinpoints the problem room, such as the kitchen or basement.
- Can be silenced from your phone.
- Automatically checks its sensors and batteries and reveals findings through a full report on your phone.
- Informs you of dead batteries with an alert on your phone, not a loud noise in the middle of the night.
- Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the type.
The only downside of installing Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the expense. These detectors are frequently much more expensive than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also offer many beneficial and important features you won’t find in a non-smart device.
When you’re installing a new device, it’s vital to know 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 warm air.
We advise using a detector on each floor of your residence, including outside bedrooms. You’ll want to make 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 reasonable. A couple of the most popular models are Kidde carbon monoxide detectors and First Alert carbon monoxide detectors.
But they also have limited features that aren’t compatible 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 encourages testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms every month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in ought to be tested weekly. If you’re concerned about how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s more or less easy. Use the button to be certain your detector is running.
If your detector is hardwired, make sure to replace the backup battery at least annually. If it’s battery-powered, you’ll want to change it once a month to avoid the irritating chirp in the middle of the night.
If you’re noticing a chirp or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping more frequently, it often signals 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. In general, it’s between 5–10 years, but make sure to read the instructions from your system’s manufacturer.
If you’re wondering why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s often due to the fact it’s picking up hazardous amounts of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with constant, loud beeping, leave your home right away and contact 911.
Now is a great time to check your carbon monoxide detector is functioning as it should 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 Chief/Bauer Service Experts can help. Contact us at 217-689-2469 today and we’ll help you select the best carbon monoxide detector for your residence.