Smart vs. Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Detectors: How to Choose the Best Carbon Monoxide Detector for Your House

As autumn approaches, now is an excellent time to start thinking about your house’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season starts, 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 depends on to add warmth to your residence. When your furnace is running properly, the gas is securely pushed outside of your house. Fractures in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to appear 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 because of it each year. And another approximately 50,000 people go to the emergency room thanks to related ailments, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting. 

The best ways you can protect your loved ones is by setting up regular 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 a model on the market that fits for your residence and budget. 

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, like the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it straightforward to stay on top of keeping your loved ones safe. They’re often offered 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 benefits of having them in your home: 

  • Signals that there’s a problem through voice notifications, in addition to alerts on your phone. 
  • Points out the problem area, 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. 
  • Alerts you of dying batteries with an alert on your phone, not a loud chirp in the middle of the night. 
  • Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the type. 

The only downside of getting Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the expense. These detectors are frequently much pricier than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also provide many useful and valuable features you can’t get in a non-smart device. 

When you’re buying a new device, it’s vital to learn where to put carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency encourages putting a carbon monoxide detector around five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is due to the fact carbon monoxide can rise with hot air. 

We advise using a detector on each floor of your house, 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 affordable. A couple of the most popular styles 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 usually 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 once a month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in should be tested once a week. If you’re wondering how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s fairly straightforward. Press the button to be certain your detector is functioning. 

If your detector is hardwired, make sure to change the backup battery at least annually. If it’s battery-powered, you’ll want to replace it once a month to skip the annoying chirp in the middle of the night. 

If you’re noticing a chirp or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping more frequently, it often means 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 use. Typically, it’s between 5–10 years, but make sure to check 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 sensing dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with steady, loud beeping, leave your home right away and contact 911. 

Now is a great time to ensure your carbon monoxide detector is working normally before heating season begins. If you need to schedule furnace maintenance or you’re interested in upgrading to smart carbon monoxide detectors, the Experts at Stevenson Service Experts can assist you. Get in touch with us at 614-334-3192 today and we’ll help you pick the best carbon monoxide detector for your residence. 

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >


  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

© 2024 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.