Updated November 2018

Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors Updated November 2018

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

Nest

Protect Smoke and CO Alarm
Check Price at: 1 store
Once they are up and running, Nest’s Protect Smoke and CO Alarm offer a host of convenient features that keep customers happy.
The Nest Protect Smoke and CO Alarm excels in build quality and feature set, with the ability to test the alarms easily via a smartphone app once they are connected. You can also control the devices, which last for 10 years, with the app which makes silencing alarms an easy prospect.
Setup can be a bit difficult with this thermometer. While its smart features make it a fan favorite, making the initial connection to your network can be painful, particularly if you’re using the smoke and CO alarms with Apple products.

Sensorcon

CO Detector and Meter
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Sensorcon’s CO Detector and Meter is well-built and can stand up to heavy use, but it’s not the most accurate device on the market.
This CO detector and meter is made to last, with its rugged housing and waterproof design making it a viable tool in a variety of situations and locations. It’s also easy and quick to use.
Some reviewers noted that Sensorcon’s CO Detector and Meter doesn’t seem to be accurate, with some customers claiming that two of the same model read significantly different numbers while sitting right next to each other.

First Alert

Dual Power Plug-in CO Alarm
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An affordable CO detector with a dual-power build, First Alert’s CO alarm offers good functionality with a few design flaws.
With a simple plug-in design that requires no mounting, First Alert’s Dual Power Plug-in CO Alarm is easy to set up and install. It also holds batteries as an alternate power source, meaning that you’ll be protected even if your power goes out.
This model can be a bit unbalanced, with reviewers noting that it can rather easily fall out of outlets and end up on the floor. Its battery door was also critiqued as being “flimsy” and easily broken.

Kiddie

Battery Power, Digital Display CO Alarm
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Kiddie’s CO alarm offering has a great price but a number of quality control issues that might make it a risky buy.
The Kiddie Battery Power, Digital Display CO Alarm installs easily and offers accurate readings – when it works.
This particular Kiddie CO Alarm seems to have some quality control issues, with many reviewers reporting that their unit was either DOA or died shortly after arriving. The replacement units typically functioned well, but it’s concerning that so many customers received faulty products.

Kiddie

Battery-Operated, Digital Display CO Alarm
Check Price at: 1 store
Kiddie’s Battery-Operated, Digital Display CO Alarm is a well-designed unit with a small footprint.
The Kiddie Battery-Operated, Digital Display CO Alarm is offered at a great price point and offers plenty of features in a small package. The alarm itself is also loud enough that you won’t have to worry about missing it.
The unit seems to have a high threshold for CO detection, which means that it might not detect very low concentrations. Some reviewers have noted that it doesn’t seem as sensitive as other models.

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Your safety, as well as the safety of your loved ones, is important. That’s why it’s always a good idea to take the time to ensure you have working CO detectors in your home and office. You might not ever find yourself in a situation where you needed to be alerted, but you’ll be grateful to have the alarms installed should something go wrong and the CO levels in your building rise.

We know that you have other ways you’d like to spend your time than reading thousands of product reviews – or, even worse, ordering multiple different products and running your own tests on them. That’s why we’ve taken the time to go through the reviews of five popular models for you, looking for each CO alarm’s best and worst features to help you make the right decision.

Best Carbon Monoxide Detector Reviews Guide 

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless toxic gas that is generally produced as a by-product of combustion. That doesn’t mean that it’s only present in dramatic explosions, however – in this instance, “combustion” has a very mundane application. CO can be produced every day in your home by virtually any appliance that burns fuel. The CO output can quickly increase in such a confined space. Other devices that produce CO and are commonly found in homes include:

  • Charcoal Grills
  • Gas Dryers
  • Gas Water Heaters
  • Gas Stoves
  • Woodstoves
  • Fireplaces
  • Fuel-fired Furnaces

As mentioned above, CO can be toxic to human beings and animals – and because it is both odorless and tasteless, and lacks any sort of color, it is especially difficult to detect before it becomes a problem. Failing to recognize elevated CO levels can lead to symptoms like a headache and nausea as well as death if the levels become particularly high or the individual in question is exposed to the gas for a long time. The good news is that you can avoid these issues by purchasing a CO detector and alarm. These devices monitor CO levels in the building and alert you when they become elevated.

Types of Carbon Monoxide Detectors

There are a few different types of CO detectors on the market. Two of the main kinds can be differentiated by their power source. Some detectors run on batteries, for example, while others run on power. There are also hybrid detectors that run on both power and batteries to ensure that you are protected even if the power fails. There are also “smart” CO detectors on the market, that pair with other items such as smoke detectors to help keep you informed and in charge of your home’s (and your family’s) safety. Practically speaking, both “smart” detectors and more traditional detectors are effective – the difference lies more in how they connect to your home network and the way in which you interact with them.

Tools and vehicles can also produce CO, with the production of the substance being one of the main reasons it is dangerous to start your car and leave it running in your garage. ”

Ideal Number of Carbon Monoxide Detectors for Your Home

There are a few considerations to keep in mind when determining how many detectors are right for your home. Did you know, for example, that it is generally recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to place a detector on every floor of your home (or the residence in question)? That means that if your home has four levels, you should – at minimum – have four CO detectors. You should also install detectors near major appliances that burn gas in order to help more quickly identify problems should the appliances malfunction. Make sure to keep them at least five feet away from gas-fueled appliances.

Price Range

CO detectors come in a wide array of prices and can be as basic or as complex as you’d like. If you only need basic features, then you might be able to find a detector for around $20 or $30. However, if you have a smart home and would like your alarm to fit right in, then you’re probably going to spend more than you would on more basic models – but smart CO detectors do exist and can fit right into your network. On the other hand, basic CO detectors work just as well and can be had for significantly cheaper. Determine your budget and your feature wish list, and you’ll be able to find a detector in no time.

Frequently asked questions

Where should I put my CO detector?

You should have at least one CO detector on every floor of the building in question. In addition, you should add another CO detector for each area where major appliances that burn fuel are located. At the very least, you need a detector on every floor where someone sleeps.

What should I do if my CO detector alarm goes off?

Check the machine, first of all, and determine what level it is reporting. Keep in mind that sometimes these detectors can also go off if their batteries need to be replaced, so don’t panic. Depending on your model, the detector should show you how high the levels are. Open windows and doors to get some fresh air into the home and call a professional to help you determine the cause of the elevated concentration as well as whether you need to evacuate the building.

How much should I spend on a CO detector?

There are many different price points for CO detectors, and more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean “better”. If you only need basic features, then you might be able to find a detector for around $20 or $30. More advanced models will increase the price.

The team that worked on this review

Kealia Reynolds
Photo Editor
Rebekah Sedaca
Writer
Kelsey Roadruck
Sr. Editor
John Morgan
Producer

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