The 5 Best Carbon Monoxide Detector Consumer Reports in 2020

best carbon monoxide detectors

Most homes these days tend to include at least one source of carbon monoxide. The dangers of this are well documented. The best way to ensure that the level of carbon monoxide does not cause any harm is to install a carbon monoxide detector. Deciding which one to choose must be done carefully. This is because it is very easy to buy one that is unreliable or faulty. Unlike with most other appliances, the consequences of the carbon monoxide detector not working can be fatal. There is no room for error here. The abundance and widespread usage of carbon monoxide detectors has led to an influx of consumer reports. The selection process can best be simplified by understanding what is required of a carbon monoxide detector and how it can be handled.

Top 5 Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors in 2020

First Alert CO400 Carbon Monoxide Detector, White, Pack of 1
5,564 Reviews
First Alert CO400 Carbon Monoxide Detector, White, Pack of 1
  • Keep your family safe with this easy to use, battery operated carbon monoxide alarm;...
  • Features an advanced electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor that accurately detects carbon...
$43.51
Kidde Nighthawk Plug-In AC/DC Carbon Monoxide Alarm Detector with Digital Display KN-COPP-3
11,478 Reviews
Kidde Nighthawk Plug-In AC/DC Carbon Monoxide Alarm Detector with Digital Display KN-COPP-3
  • Peak level button – Displays the peak CO level recorded by the alarm since it was last...
  • Test button functions – Tests the unit for proper operation and resets the carbon...
$7.30
First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm | Battery Operated, SCO5CN
11,357 Reviews
First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm | Battery Operated, SCO5CN
  • Keep your family safe with this battery operated smoke and carbon monoxide alarm; Battery...
  • Features an electrochemical carbon monoxide sensing technology as well as a photoelectric...
$2.66
Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm Detector | Digital Display | Battery Operated | Model KN-COPP-B-LPM
8,784 Reviews
Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm Detector | Digital Display | Battery Operated | Model KN-COPP-B-LPM
  • Digital Display - Displays the level of carbon monoxide the unit is sensing. Shows CO...
  • Battery Operated - Provides best protection during power outages. Battery safeguard makes...
$8.00
X-Sense 10 Year Battery (Not Hardwired) Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector with LCD Display, Dual Sensor Smoke CO Alarm Complies with UL 217 & UL 2034 Standards, Auto-Check, SC01
1,438 Reviews
X-Sense 10 Year Battery (Not Hardwired) Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector with LCD Display, Dual Sensor Smoke CO Alarm Complies with UL 217 & UL 2034 Standards, Auto-Check, SC01
  • 10-Year Battery & 10-Year Sensor: This smoke and carbon monoxide alarm provides 10 years...
  • Practical LCD Display: Clearly indicates real-time carbon monoxide (CO) concentration in...

Ensure Your Safety

Triggering The Alarm

CO alarms are an essential component of carbon monoxide detectors. After all, there is little point in having a carbon monoxide detector if it is not able to let you know if the CO level is too high! For this reason, it is important to make sure that the device that is chosen has an alarm system that is both functional and dependable. Considering the size of the house in question, it should be made certain that the noise level of the carbon monoxide alarm is loud enough to be heard across the entire premises. The homeowner should also be familiar with what the alarm sounds like. The ideal device should be capable of having the alarm switched on during tests in order to check if it is functioning properly. It must also be considered how the alarm will be triggered. The sensors that are in place in the carbon monoxide detector should be sensitive enough to set off the alarm as soon as high CO levels are reached. It should be considered how the detector will measure this and what degree of sensitivity is best in order to ensure safety, as some carbon monoxide detectors are more sensitive than others. There is also the possibility of having a carbon monoxide detector that is linked with local authorities so that officials can be notified by the sensor and respond to the alarm by coming to the house to assist with the evacuation.

Maintenance

Investing in a carbon monoxide detector does not mean that the homeowner will be without active responsibility in controlling carbon monoxide concentrations. This is because the device will require consistent maintenance. If left unattended then it may fall into disrepair and not work properly, endangering the owner. It would be best to select a device that is easy to use. For example, some devices come equipped with a test button. Pushing this down would trigger the alarm and signal that it is working properly. This simple process can be done by virtually anyone, with little to no training required. The owner would still need to make a routine of doing this on a regular basis. Different carbon monoxide detectors have different requirements for how often they need to be tested and updated. They even have different life spans. The purchaser would be best off selecting a detector based on how often they can realistically conduct checks and how long they need it for. Devices with shorter life spans are cheaper and ideal for homeowners that are living somewhere temporarily for 6 months to a year. It would also be worth considering the power of the battery backup. This would be useful in the event of a power outage and so should be checked regularly.

Installation

Careful consideration must be given toward where in the home the carbon monoxide detector will be kept. The installation process can be made simple or complicated, depending on the model. For example, some models may have sensors that require them to be placed closer to the sources of carbon monoxide emission. Others are so strong that they can be detected virtually anywhere in the house. It is helpful to think of the placement for carbon monoxide detectors in a similar way to smoke detectors. Both would best be situated in a central position, out of the way and within proximity to all rooms of the house. This has given rise to an entire subcategory of detectors known as smoke carbon monoxide detectors. These combine the two and can detect both smoke and carbon monoxide. This would save on the cost of buying two separate devices. There are several popular home products that are manufactured by popular brands. It is better to choose these, as a widely available product shall always prove more reliable over cheaper, unknown alternatives. Nest Protect and First Alert are both examples of high-quality carbon monoxide detectors. These brands give their customers good instructions on how to best carry out the installation process.

Portability

While a CO detector is typically designed to be attached to a wall or ceiling, it is also possible to select a detector that can function while being moved around. This emphasis on portability would be useful if conducting site tests for CO levels in different locations. The portable detector can come fitted with a digital display that would show real time measurements of CO. However, it is established that portable carbon monoxide detectors are much more expensive than stationary carbon monoxide detectors that are designed for home safety. Another use for portable detectors could be to keep track of CO while in a transport vehicle such as a car. This is one of two types of portable detectors, the other being designed to be used by professionals. The typical purchaser would be a homeowner that would simply need to install the device for home safety so this may not be necessary. However, it is worth considering that portable detectors have a much faster response time than residential variants. Their alarms are typically triggered by low levels of CO in a matter of seconds, rather than minutes or hours. While a portable detector might be an unnecessary investment for home use, there is no doubt that doing so would be the most accurate way to determine what the carbon monoxide levels in the house are.

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