As autumn approaches, now is an excellent time to get started thinking about your house’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season begins, the Centers for Disease Control says the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning increases.
Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a byproduct of combustion your gas furnace relies on to add warmth to your residence. When your heater is running properly, the gas is safely transported outside of your residence. Cracks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to spill into your house, where prolonged exposure can be fatal.
Regardless of the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is avoidable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. are killed by it annually. And another approximately 50,000 people visit the ER due to related symptoms, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting.
The best ways you can protect your loved ones is by organizing annual maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, including your furnace and water heater, and getting a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s an option out there that fits for your home and budget.
Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smart carbon monoxide detectors, including the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it straightforward to stay on top of keeping your loved ones safe. They’re often available as combined carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can typically be synced with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.
Here are a few other perks of having them in your house:
- Tells you there’s a problem through voice notifications, in addition to alerts on your phone.
- Locates the problem spot, such as the kitchen or basement.
- Can be silenced from your phone.
- Automatically tests its sensors and batteries and explains findings through a useful report on your phone.
- Notifies you of dead batteries with an alert on your phone, not a screeching chirp in the middle of the night.
- Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the type.
The only problem with installing Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the price tag. These detectors are often much pricier than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also include many useful and important features you don’t receive in a non-smart device.
When you’re installing a new device, it’s important to learn where to attach 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 encourage having a detector on each floor of your house, including outside bedrooms. You’ll want to be certain the alarm 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 types are Kidde carbon monoxide detectors and First Alert carbon monoxide detectors.
But they also have limited features that don’t link 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 recommends testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms once a month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in need to be tested weekly. If you’re concerned about how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s fairly easy. Press the button to be certain your detector is running.
If your detector is hardwired, make sure to change the backup battery at least annually. If it’s battery-powered, you’ll want to change it once a month to bypass the irritating chirp in the middle of the night.
If you’re getting that sound or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping more frequently, it generally 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 have. Typically, 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 likely due to the fact it’s sensing high concentration of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with steady, loud beeping, leave your residence right away and dial 911.
Now is a great time to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is running normally 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 Stark Services can provide support. Get in touch with us at 817-668-6689 today and we’ll help you select the best carbon monoxide detector for your residence.