The Best Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors of 2020
By Guest Writer Alicia Sa
Carbon monoxide, or CO, has been called the “Silent Killer” – and with good reason.
Whenever any product burns, a certain amount of carbon monoxide is created, along with other chemicals. What makes CO so dangerous in the home, in addition to its toxicity, is the fact that it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.
CO is usually formed due to incomplete combustion. When anything burns, the carbon component usually produces carbon dioxide (CO2). When there’s less oxygen available, such as when the fire is in an enclosed space, carbon monoxide will be produced.
CO is itself combustible, so in the right circumstances can ignite and contribute to the existing fire.
In an enclosed environment such as a house or apartment, a buildup of CO can be deadly.
Carbon monoxide is lighter than CO² or oxygen, so without sufficient airflow will tend to build up in the higher areas of the dwelling – upstairs sleeping areas, for example. We can’t smell or taste it, so will have no indication of the danger.
The Symptoms and Toxic Effects of Carbon Monoxide Ingestion.
When we inhale carbon monoxide, it attaches to the red blood cells that normally carry oxygen around our bodies. Once a cell has a CO molecule attached, it can no longer carry an oxygen molecule. Oxygen is essential for the well-being of every part of our body – without enough oxygen, we will simply die.
Long-term exposure to low-to-medium levels of CO, or short-term exposure to high levels, can cause cell degradation and eventual death. In extreme cases, this can occur in a surprisingly short time.
In the short term, symptoms could include any or all of the following:
Shortness of breath
Unusually erratic emotional behavior
Clumsiness, difficulty walking, localized numbness.
Confusion and impaired judgment
Nausea and vomiting
Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Long-term exposure can result in serious organ damage (including the brain) and death.
If you want to read more detailed information, you can visit this site.
It makes sense then, that we all need to guard ourselves against this Silent Killer. Fortunately, there are many efficient carbon monoxide detectors available to help us do this.
Carbon Monoxide detectors are devices that indicate the levels of carbon monoxide in the environment. They have been designed primarily to ensure you and your family members are safe in and around your home. Carbon Monoxide is a very poisonous gas having been termed as a silent killer due to its nature of stealthily clogging your blood supply system and resulting in suffocation. To keep your home and loved ones safe, you should consider installing these devices in and around your house.
The good thing about these detectors is that you can install them virtually anywhere around your home, be it in the kitchen, basement, or even the garage. It doesn’t matter if you are a homeowner or tenant; you can still get to enjoy the benefits these detectors provide. There are various types of Carbon Monoxide detectors; the most common ones including dual-functional designs, digital models, smart sensors, hard-wired, and battery-operated devices. Here are some of the best carbon monoxide detectors for safety and performance.
1. Google Nest Protect Smoke CO Detector
The Google Nest CO Detector is not only energy-saving but also of the perfect design that enhances the safety of your family, keeping them safe from the dangers of suffocation. This model is compatible with a wide variety of smart home devices. Additionally, it has a dual operation, which means that you will get the advantage of both smoke and carbon monoxide detection.
Something that I found quite intriguing is the smartphone app that allows you to monitor your household at your convenience from a remote location. You will get silent alarms and additional alerts, even when you are not around your home.
We’re told to check smoke and CO alarms monthly, but what if we forget? The Nest Protect silently checks itself over 400 times every day.
If you’re heading to the kitchen or bathroom in the middle of the night, Nest Protect will illuminate whenever you walk under it, so you get a night light as a bonus!
Replacement can be done after ten years. It comes at an affordable price with high-grade sensors that detect fire and Carbon Monoxide in real-time. This product is efficient and highly reliable.
Pros of the Google Nest Protect Detector:
•It works with a variety of smart home devices.
•It gives you the additional functionality of smoke detection.
•There is a voice notification for alerts.
It’s hard to find a negative here. The only thing I can say is that the Nest Protect isn’t cheap. But then again, quality rarely is.
2. First Alert Onelink
When it comes to convenience, this is one of the best picks thanks to the reliable voice control feature. This Alexa-enabled device can communicate with other appliances through the home WiFi to connect and send signals in any case that there is a gas leak or fire incident. You get the convenience of monitoring the device and your household since the detector has a mobile app that is compatible with Apple devices. Notifications and alerts will be sent through the app.
You can talk to the device via Alexa, and have it play music, give you the news, check the weather, and lots more.
Being the top of the Onelink range, the First Alert comes with a serious price tag, but when only the best will do . . .
Other Onelink detectors start from around $140.00, which is a reasonable price for what is offered. The cheaper device, however, lacks a battery compartment. This means that you will be required to purchase a new model when the one you are using expires.
Pros of First Alert Onelink:
•It has a battery that can last for as long as ten years.
•The mobile app allows you to monitor progress within your household.
•It has a voice alarm.
•The syncing system is very convenient.
•It has a built-in smoke alarm.
As with the Google offering above, price can become an issue if you choose the top of the range model, but the basic models are pretty reasonable.
3. Kidde Nighthawk
There are 17 different models in the Kidde range of CO alarms. These include two in the Nighthawk range. Both are plug-in AC models.
The Kidde Nightwalk offers you value for your money. Its producers are considered one of the largest and most respected manufacturers of safety products; therefore, you can rely on them for quality and safety. The detectors they manufacture are high-quality units. This detector has a variety of features that makes it unique, one of which is a digital display to indicate the levels of carbon monoxide in the surrounding air.
Data is refreshed every fifteen seconds, and therefore, you can easily tell if there is a leakage. The alarm sound is definitely loud enough for you to hear.
Pros of the Kidde Nighthawk:
•It has a loud siren.
•It is affordable.
•There is a digital display.
•It has a backup battery.
•It is barely compatible with home automated systems.
4. Arikon Smoke and CO Detector
This product has both photoelectric and chemical sensors, which detect smoke and carbon monoxide. The 85-decibel siren is loud enough. You will definitely love the light, which indicates any kind of danger or any deficiencies in the battery system.
Pros of the Arikon Smoke and CO Detector:
•It detects both smoke and carbon monoxide. There is no need to acquire separate devices.
•The siren is loud, and there is an indicator light.
•On the downside, the model lacks smart features.
5. Kidde Battery-Operated
I’ve listed the battery model separately from the Nighthawk range. The battery-operated models are more suitable if you are looking to install it in a home where there hasn’t been another alarm fitted. They are also worth considering if you happen to be a renter.
This amazing Kidde model is easy to install. The electrochemical sensor quickly detects any carbon monoxide in the air. The digital display indicates the levels of carbon monoxide in the surrounding. The setup process is quite simple.
This detector has been created with the sole purpose of giving you maximum safety as a homeowner or as a tenant. It has a slim design. You can place it anywhere within your household, as it doesn’t require an outlet. The batteries can also be changed easily.
Pros of the Kidde Battery-Operated detector:
•The 85-decibel alarm is loud. You will be alerted.
•The setup process is simple.
•It has a digital display.
•It does not have automation features.
6. First Alert C0400 Alarm
This is a fairly basic unit, with a price to match. Having said that, it is on the Amazon’s Choice list, and gets very good reviews from previous buyers.
•Probably one of the cheapest units you’ll find.
•It has a basic design.
•It is quite hard to remove the battery compartment.
•It does not have a lot of smart home features.
Maintenance and safety recommendations
Most detectors have an average lifespan of five years. However, this varies depending on the type and design of the model. Others work for as long as ten years. The most important thing to consider is keeping the device in perfect working condition which can be done by cleaning and wiping the units, at least once every week to keep it clear of dust and debris. Testing can also be conducted monthly with the aid of a carbon monoxide meter to see if the device works perfectly.
When it comes to safety, you should vent all your appliances correctly. Appliances such as generators are to be kept at considerable distances from the house. Additionally, you should never operate gas grills within your household.
Frequently Asked Questions
How common is carbon monoxide poisoning in domestic situations?
In the US, around 400 people die annually because of this type of poisoning. 20,000 people are admitted annually to emergency rooms. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a real threat, and one that can be avoided.
Who is susceptible to this kind of poisoning?
I would say that anyone can be affected by Carbon monoxide poisoning. However, children, older adults, sick people and pets are more likely to be affected by this menace. You have to take adequate measures to prevent this.
Where can you install carbon monoxide detectors?
Installation of these devices can be performed anywhere around the household. The most common places you can install them include the kitchen, garage and basement, literally any place where you feel the gas can be a problem if left to leak by mistake. To adequately protect an average home, three or more detectors would likely be needed.
What are the sources of carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide gas is a health hazard that majorly comes from gas grills, gas stoves, fuel-burning heaters and generators. Virtually anywhere there is a form of combustion CO may be produced in varying quantities.
Do you have any further questions, or perhaps you’d like to offer your thoughts on the threat of carbon monoxide in the home?
Feel free to join the discussion via the Comments Box below.