As cooler weather gets closer, now is a good time to start thinking about your house’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 hazardous gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a product of combustion your gas furnace relies on to heat your house. When your heater is operating properly, the gas is correctly moved outside of your home. Cracks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to appear into your home, where long-term exposure can be lethal.
Although carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die because of it annually. And another approximately 50,000 people go to the hospital because of related issues, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting.
The best ways you can help your loved ones is by scheduling 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 a model out there that fits for your residence and budget.
Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smart carbon monoxide detectors, such as the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it easy to keep on top of keeping your home safe. They’re frequently offered as dual-purpose carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can typically be linked with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.
Here are a few other benefits of using them in your residence:
- Tells you there’s trouble through voice notifications, in addition to alerts on your phone.
- Locates the problem area, such as the kitchen or basement.
- Can be quieted from your phone.
- Automatically reviews its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a full report on your phone.
- Notifies you of low batteries with an alert on your phone, not an annoying 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 sometimes much pricier than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also provide many useful and important features you won’t find in a non-smart device.
When you’re getting a new device, it’s crucial to understand where to place 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 due to the fact carbon monoxide can rise with warm air.
We encourage using a detector on each floor of your home, including 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 few 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 usually 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 once a month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in ought to be tested weekly. If you’re wondering how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s fairly simple. Press the button to make sure your detector is working.
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 irritating chirp in the middle of the night.
If you’re getting a chirp or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping intermittently, it generally means 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 use. In general, it’s around 5–10 years, but make sure to read the instructions from your device’s manufacturer.
If you’re confused about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s often due to the fact it’s sensing high concentration of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with constant, loud beeping, leave your residence as quickly as possible and dial 911.
Now is a great time to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is functioning as it should 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. Contact us at 919-578-4329 today and we’ll help you pick the perfect carbon monoxide detector for your house.