As fall arrives, now is an excellent time to get started thinking about your house’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season is underway, the Centers for Disease Control says the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning builds.
Carbon monoxide is a hazardous gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a byproduct of combustion your gas furnace depends on to add warmth to your home. When your heater is working properly, the gas is securely moved outside of your house. Breaks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your residence, where prolonged exposure can be deadly.
Despite the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. are killed by it each year. And another approximately 50,000 people visit the emergency room thanks to related symptoms, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting.
The best ways you can help your family is by setting up yearly maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, including your furnace and water heater, and installing a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a solution on the market to work for your house and budget.
Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smart carbon monoxide detectors, like the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it straightforward to remain in control for keeping your loved ones safe. They’re frequently sold as combination carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can typically be used with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.
Here are a few other perks of installing them in your home:
- Signals that there’s a problem through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone.
- Pinpoints the problem area, such as the kitchen or basement.
- Can be shut off from your phone.
- Automatically reviews its sensors and batteries and reveals findings through a full report on your phone.
- Warns you of dying 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 issue with having Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the expense. These detectors are sometimes much more expensive than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also include many beneficial and important features you won’t find in a non-smart device.
When you’re installing a new device, it’s important to understand 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 since carbon monoxide can rise with heated air.
We suggest having a detector on each floor of your home, 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 reasonable. A couple of the most popular types 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 typically 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 straightforward. Use the button to make sure your detector is running.
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 replace it once a month to bypass the annoying chirp in the middle of the night.
If you’re hearing 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 work depends on the brand you have. Most often, it’s between 5–10 years, but make sure to review instructions from your device’s manufacturer.
If you’re concerned about 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 constant, loud beeping, leave your home immediately and dial 911.
Now is a great time to ensure your carbon monoxide detector is working as it should before heating season starts. If you need to schedule furnace maintenance or you’re interested in upgrading to smart carbon monoxide detectors, the Experts at Strand Brothers Service Experts can help. Get in touch with us at 512-596-1257 today and we’ll help you find the perfect carbon monoxide detector for your residence.