If you’re looking for some Carbon Monoxide detector reviews, chances are that you’re looking to protect yourself from those hidden combustion fumes produced by cars, gas engines, ranges and even heating systems – though, not electric heaters. And since it’s colorless, tasteless and odorless, you’ll have almost no other means with which to warn you of elevating levels. That’s reason enough to take some preventative measures.
Luckily, there are several reliable products that are available on the market today. Let’s look at a few of the benefits you can expect to receive from a CO detector.
BENEFITS OF A CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR
Obviously the number one benefit is safety! Although the number is going down due to regulations and general awareness, the CDC reports that over 150 people die of accidental CO poisoning each year.
PEACE OF MIND
We’ve all seen those “Nightline Specials” aired on TV alerting us of some germ or hidden danger lurking around our premises. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you’re protected from over-exposure to a toxic gas… and not one of the actual statistics that make them worth reporting in the first place?
SMALL AND CHEAP
Generally, the CO Detectors on the market are small and either battery operated or plug in directly to your wall. They’re roughly the size of a wall thermostat. The benefit of the plug-in variety is that some users like the portability and being able to take it with them when they stay in hotels.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A CO DETECTOR
There aren’t many differences between one detector and another, but there are a few things that you’ll want to consider before you go out and buy one.
Battery vs. Plug-in
Combination CO/Smoke Detector
The actual type of sensor that detects CO levels is hardly the most important aspect of choosing a detector since that they all function quite well. What you will want to consider is whether you want to install a battery-backup operated unit into an electrical outlet or you prefer the quick install of a plug-and-leave detector. A battery back-up gives that additional peace of mind that you don’t get with an plug-in only unit that fails to work during a power outage.
Also, you may want to consider a combination device. If your chosen area lacks a smoke detector, you can also look for a unit that fulfills both needs.
Although not entirely complicated, these units do come with a few consumer concerns – though nothing that seems to indicate product malfunction. Here are a few that are typically mentioned with these products.
- Loud Alarm (had to put it because those are actual complaints)
- Some units may arrive defective and you may need to ship it right back
- Some seem cheaply manufactured
SAFETY INFORMATION FOR CO DETECTORS
You’ll notice many products are UL Listed. Underwriters Laboratory is a global safety science company that certifies, validates, tests and educates in the fields of compliance and regulatory issues.
Homeowners, Landlords and Tenants should all be aware that many states require the installation of CO detectors in certain residential buildings. Check out the link for a summary on each state. For further questions, contact your state or local housing department.
For more information on Carbon Monoxide poisoning such as Sources, Effects, Symptoms and more, visit the WebMD link above.
CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR REVIEWS
click images to enlarge
|Kidde KN-COPP-3 Nighthawk||Plug-In/Battery||$28||5/5|
|First Alert CO615||Plug-In/Battery||$30||4.5/5|
|First Alert CO600||Plug-In/Battery||$20||4.5/5|
|First Alert CO400||Battery||$18||4/5|
Kidde has been producing smoke detection and carbon dioxide extinguishing systems for a century, so trust is established. With the Nighthawk Plug-In CO Alarm you get a Digital Display that shows active levels being sensed, Test/Reset Buttons, Peak Level Button that displays its highest levels since the last reset and a 9V Battery Back-up. Blinking dot denotes normal operation. Electrochemical Sensor. Mounting options include Direct Plug-in, 6′ Power Cord and Table Top. UL Listed, 10 Year Life 10 Year Limited Warranty.
Pros: Battery backup (9v) for power outages – Digital readout for continuous readings – Updated readings every 15 seconds – Batteries included – Horizontal or vertical plug mount, or you can set it on a shelf
Just a step below the Nighthawk is another detector from Kidde, but without the Plug-In option (Battery Operated). This is nearly identical in features like Digital Display for easy monitoring, Power Outage Protection, Test/Reset Buttons, Peak Level Memory since last reset and LED indicators (Green = normal operation, Red = alarm). Electrochemical Sensor. Mounting options include Wall Mount and Table Top. UL Listed, 10 Year Life 10 Year Limited Warranty.
Pros: Digital screen with large display – 15 second updates – Wall or Counter placement – End of life indication – Comes with batteries
Cons: No backlight feature, reading can look dim – Not plug in
First Alert is another “deluxe” style CO Detector with as many goodies as you could ask for. It’s a plug-in unit built with a large, bright Digital Screen with Current Level displayed, Test button, Battery Power with on-screen display, Peak Level Feature since last reset, End of Life Timer and Alarm Silence feature compatible with most tv remote controls. Electrochemical Sensor. Mounting options include Direct Plug-in and 6′ Power Cord. Meets UL Standards. 7 Year Limited Warranty.
Pros: Plug in (with optional extension cord) – Large, backlit display for easy reading – Battery Backup for Power outage – End of life alarm – Comes with batteries – Memory feature saves CO levels
Cons: Does not continuously display CO level
First alert also has a standard version CO detector if you just require the basic functionality. This basic Plug-In alarm comes equipped with an End of Life Timer and a Mute Button that doubles as a Silencer and Test button. Electrochemical Sensor. Meets UL Standards. 7 yr Limited warranty.
Pros: Plug in – Easy install – End of life timer – Best Carbon Monoxide detector without a display
Cons: No display – No battery back up
Like the other highly rated Kidde detectors, this alarm is their bare-bones version – It alerts you when there are elevated CO levels and not a whole lot more. This is a Battery Operated Unit good for Power Outages, has a test/Reset feature, Red or Green Event Flashing Indicators, a Low Battery Signal and a Battery Lockout System to prevent closure without batteries. UL Certified.
Pros: Protection from power outage – Batteries included – Low battery signal – Easy install
Cons: No display – No plug in
The last unit in these CO Detector reviews is the First Alert CO400. For a reasonable price you can be assured to get a CO detector that does what it’s supposed to do. This Battery Operated detector comes with Test Alarm function, Mute button and End of Life Timer. Electrochemical Sensor. 5 Year limited Warranty. Meets UL2034 Standard.
Pros: Low battery warning, audible and visual – End of life warning – Battery included – Easy install
Cons: No display – No plug in – May come with 9volt or 2 AA batteries – Some problems with 9volt contacts and opening compartment
If you’re looking for the bargain CO Detector, LCD has you covered. Their CO Sensor is Battery Operated, comes with a backlit Display and a Test/Reset button. There are also Green and Red LED Flash Indicators.
Pros: LCD display – Good value – Easy installation
Cons: No plug in – No expiration date on unit – Few complaints of defective units – Not UL Listed (check your local requirements before purchasing) – Batteries may or may not be included – Short battery life
As you can see from these carbon monoxide detector reviews, there aren’t really a whole lot of differences from one unit to the next. Whether you’re looking to outfit a whole house, a building complex or you just need a standard wall plug-in unit for one room, there are enough quality detectors here to choose from.