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

As autumn approaches, now is a great time to get started thinking about your house’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season is underway, the Centers for Disease Control says the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning goes up. 

Carbon monoxide is a harmful gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a product of combustion your gas furnace depends on to heat your house. When your furnace is operating like it’s supposed to, the gas is securely vented outside of your home. Fractures in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to spill into your home, where ongoing exposure can be lethal. 

Regardless of the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is avoidable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. die from it annually. And another approximately 50,000 people are transported to the hospital thanks to related symptoms, including headaches, dizziness and vomiting. 

The best ways you can safeguard your family is by setting up regular maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, like your furnace and water heater, and installing a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a model available to work for your residence and budget. 

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart carbon monoxide detectors, including the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it simple to stay on top of keeping your loved ones safe. They’re usually sold as dual-purpose carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can usually be linked with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi. 

Here are a few other benefits of installing them in your home: 

  • Tells you there’s an issue through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone. 
  • Pinpoints the problem spot, 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. 
  • Notifies 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 kind. 

The only downside of using Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the expense. These detectors are often much higher-priced than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also offer many useful and worthy features you won’t find in a non-smart device. 

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

We recommend using a detector on each floor of your home, especially 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 affordable. A few 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 each month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in should be tested weekly. If you’re concerned about how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s more or less simple. Depress the button to make sure your detector is functioning. 

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

If you’re hearing a chirp or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping regularly, it often indicates it has a low battery. Or, it’s approaching the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors last depends on the brand you own. Typically, it’s between 5–10 years, but make sure to check instructions from your specific manufacturer. 

If you’re concerned about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s usually due to the fact it’s picking up dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continuous, loud beeping, leave your residence right away and contact 911. 

Now is a good time to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is functioning properly 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can provide support. Reach us at 866-397-3787 today and we’ll help you pick the perfect carbon monoxide detector for your home. 

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.