Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors of 2021 (Pricing & Features)
There are many features to take into account when choosing the best detector for one’s home. To make matters simple, here is a chart with all the important info about these carbon monoxide detectors presented concisely.
|Provider||Price||Setup||Smoke detection||App||Smart home features||Digital display||Powered by electricity||Batteries||BBB Review||Best for|
|Kidde Battery-Operated||$19||Pro||No||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||A-||Simple info|
|First Alert CO400||$19.33||DIY||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||A-||Location independence|
|Kidde Nighthawk||$120||Pro||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||A-||Informative readings|
|First Alert Onelink||$172||Pro||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||A-||Large budgets|
|First Alert CO605||$24.79||DIY||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||A-||Protection against outages|
Carbon Monoxide Detector Types
CO is a type of gas less dense than air. It has no color, odor, or taste. It is dangerous for humans because it is flammable. People can produce this substance by burning different elements. For example, wood, gasoline, charcoal, among others. Yet, these fuels do not burn completely.
When people do not ventilate instruments or machines, gas will increase. This will then be a risk, especially in enclosed spaces.
For this reason, it is important to have a proper CO detector.
Installing Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Homeowners should place carbon monoxide detectors in strategic areas around the house. Common spaces are a good start. For example, the kitchen and living room. Houses with more than one level should have at least one device on each floor.
There are two types of setups. One with wires and one with batteries. Those with cables work with home electricity. For this reason, users might need professional help.
The second option is easier to install. It is also more useful during a power outage.
- Make sure to put the device out of reach. In this way, there is no tampering
- The best place to put a sensor is at knee level.
- If pets or children live in the house, keep the CO detector at chest length.
- Take a small carbon monoxide detector during trips. They are easy to plug around.
Benefits of Different Carbon Monoxide Detectors
CO gas is very hard to detect with special devices. For this reason, users should get the top carbon monoxide detectors to keep their families safe at home.
Below is a list of the different benefits a CO detector can offer. Still, remember to check state regulation before buying.
- Adjust to temperatures: helps to detect more accurately CO levels in the house.
- Includes clock carbon monoxide alarm: these detectors are quite precise. They have a different sound for each CO PPM they detect. For example, it tells users how quickly they should get out of the house. Yet, always try to leave as soon as possible.
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detector: some products detect both CO and smoke. With this, users don’t need to buy two separate devices.
- Smart features: High-tech carbon monoxide detectors include monitoring via mobile app.
Medical Effects of CO and How to Recognize Them
CO is toxic to the human body. It does not let the blood circulate as it normally does. This means it can not carry oxygen to the vital organs. These include the heart and the brain.
When a person has CO inside his or her body, the gas combines with oxygen. In this way, the hemoglobin turns into carboxyhemoglobin. Its increase will depend on the amount of gas and time of exposure. This is why having a good set of carbon monoxide detectors in place is important.
People can measure this with PPM (measured in parts per million). Carboxyhemoglobin can remain inside the human being for around five hours. After that, a person’s state will go back to normal.
In the charts below, learn about the symptoms and CO poisoning effects.
Concentration and SymptomsThis chart shows the symptoms in relation to the concentration of CO:
|CO Percentage||Symptoms and Effects|
|10%||No symptoms (Some smokers can reach up to 9% CO)|
|25%||“Nausea and a strong headache
(need oxygen or fresh air to recover fast)”
(Can bring long term effects especially
in risk groups like infants, children,
the elderly, people with heart disease
and pregnant women)
Symptoms of Concentration Levels
It is not easy to measure CO levels. People usually express them in airborne concentration levels (PPM) and time of exposure. Here goes a table with different PPMs and symptoms.
|35 PPM||8 hours||OSHA established this maximum
of exposure in the workplace
|200 PPM||2-3 hours||Slight headache,
fatigue, and dizziness
|400 PPM||1-2 hours||Strong headache.
Other symptoms can intensify
|800 PPM||45 minutes||“Nausea and convulsions
(Unconscious within 2 hrs,
death within 3 hrs)”
|1,600 PPM||20 minutes||“Headache and nausea
(Death within 1 hr)”
|3,200 PPM||5-10 minutes||Headache and nausea
(Death within 1 hr)
|6,400 PPM||1-2 minutes||Headache and nausea
(Death within 25-30 min.)
|12,800 PPM||1-3 minutes||Death|
How Can I Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
CO poisoning is quite a risk. Yet, people can prevent it. Most importantly, they should have carbon monoxide detectors inside the house. But that’s not all.
They should also be cautious and follow the tips below.
- Vent anything that works with gas properly
- Check the home chimney at least once a year
- Place carbon monoxide detectors in common spaces around the house
- Be cautious when cooking in camping sites
- Avoid burning gas grills inside the house
- Avoid heating with a gas range such as stove or oven
- Never keep the car running inside the garage with the door closed
- Never seal vent pipes. CO will leak into the house
- Avoid burning charcoal indoors
- Never use a generator inside the house or at a distance of twenty feet from doors, windows, and garage
- Never start and automobile if the tailpipe is blocked
What is CO, and Why do Users Need Carbon Monoxide Detectors?
CO is a toxic gas. It has no color, odor, or taste. And it is made of combustion. It is dangerous for humans because it is flammable.
Some examples of CO producing tools around the house include:
- Charcoal grills
- Woodstoves and fireplaces
- Fuel fired furnaces
- Gas ranges and water heaters
CO poisoning is quite a risk. Especially as the gas is hard to detect. For this reason, people should have proper protection against this gas around the house.
How do Carbon Monoxide Detectors Work?
Carbon monoxide detectors perceive the toxic gas and send out an alarm. Each CO detector has different types of alerts.
- Biomimetic CO detector: this device includes a special gel. It changes color when it detects CO. The change of color sets off the alarm.
- Carbon monoxide detectors with metal oxide: it has a built-in circuitry. This system lowers the electrical resistance when it perceives CO. This, in turn, triggers the alarm.
- Electrochemical CO detector: this one features electrodes. When they get in touch with CO, they change their electrical currents. This will send out the alert.
What Should I Do if my Carbon Monoxide Detector Sets Off an Alert?
The steps to follow are easy but essential:
- Don’t panic and stay calm
- Get everyone in the house together and go outside
- Check each member’s health. If they have any signs of infection, dial 911.
- Make sure to open all doors and windows before leaving the house.
- Avoid getting in the house till the alarm stops.
- Call professionals for help. They should check all fuel-burning instruments. And if CO is leaking somewhere. This will prevent another incident.
Where Should I Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors?
Users should first check state regulations. Some local laws ask homeowners or business companies to have carbon monoxide detectors.
Users should have enough CO detectors to cover the whole house. This should include all levels, such as the cellar and the attic. Try to place them in strategic places.
Which Carbon Monoxide Detector Should I Buy?
There are a variety of options to choose from. The cheapest CO detector can either have wires or batteries. They also have a loud alarm when it detects CO. Users can place them easily around the house.
Homeowners can also get smart models. These allow users to control their houses with their mobile app.
The best carbon monoxide detector is that which suits the house needs.
What Can Produce CO gas?
CO is a toxic gas hard to detect. Some people call it the “silent and invisible killer.” People can produce it when they burn something. It could be gasoline, wood, oil, charcoal, or any other fuel.
When this happens, CO spreads in the air. This can be dangerous when the area is small or enclosed. There is not enough space for the gas to dissipate. So, anything that burns can create CO.
Here goes a list of the most common appliances that produce CO inside the house:
- Gas ranges (grills, stoves, oven)
- Fuel-burning water heaters
- Chain saws
People need to use all those elements carefully. Remember that CO has no smell or color. So one can not perceive it alone.
How Should Users Check Their Carbon Monoxide Detectors?
Many carbon monoxide detectors last for a long time. They can work for around five years. Yet, it will depend on the model of the CO detector. Users should wipe the device every week. In this way, they keep all dust out of it.
People should also test the CO detector every month. They can check if the siren works by pushing the “test” button. If the alert system is not working, they should purchase a new model.
Win the Battle Against the Invisible Killer
Turn the home into a safe space for everybody with a CO listener. There are devices for every type of customer, no matter their budget.
Before going for one, check if it has the desired functions, like smart home integration. There are no excuses to be protected against these emissions in 2021.