You already know that Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas and that Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in North America.
Now you are looking for the best carbon monoxide detector to protect your family and home because it is the only safe way to know if carbon monoxide is present.
However, finding the best CO alarm can be tough, so we’ve put together this resource – a one-stop-shop; all-inclusive guide to help you find the best carbon monoxide detector that fit your home.
1. Types of CO detectors:
The different Carbon monoxide detectors are divided to 3 types by the way they are installed/powered.
- Battery operated carbon monoxide detectors
The flexibility to place carbon monoxide detectors in different locations.
- AC Plug-in carbon monoxide detectors
Easiest to install and operate.
- Hard wired carbon monoxide detectors
Connected to the home’s wiring system must be professionally installed.
2. Our minimal requirements from the best CO detectors
- 5 year warranty.
- 85-decibel horn.
- 5 year sensor life span.
- Digital display.
- Testing functionality.
3. The best Manufacturers
Kidde is the world’s largest manufacturer of fire safety products. Manufacturing advanced fire safety technology, residential and commercial smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and other life safety products.
Based in Mebane, N.C., Kidde is part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp.
First Alert is an American safety brand company, based in Aurora, Illinois. First Alert make carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and other safety products like flashlights and fire escape ladders. They support fire safety in partnership with Safe Kids USA and The United States Fire Administration, providing smoke alarms at reduced cost to low-income families in the United States.
4. Where does carbon monoxide come from?
Basically Carbon monoxide is produced from the incomplete burning of fuel (gasoline, natural gas, propane, oil, wood). Therefore, any fuel-burning appliance in your home is a potential Carbon monoxide source.
A few examples of possible sources:
Carbon monoxide emissions from engines:
- Cars, trucks and small gasoline engines
- Portable generators
Carbon monoxide emissions from household appliances:
- Cooking ranges, charcoal grills
- Fireplaces, fire pits, Smudge pots & Wood stoves
- Fuel-burning space heaters
- Gas or oil water heaters
Normally the amount of carbon monoxide produced by these appliances isn’t dangerous. But if appliances aren’t kept in good working order or if they’re used in indoors or partially closed space — such as using a portable generator indoors or running your car in a closed garage — the carbon monoxide can build to dangerous levels.
5. How do Carbon monoxide detectors work?
We see Carbon monoxide detectors around us almost every day of our lives, but how do they really work?
- Carbon monoxide detectors measure the presence of carbon monoxide gas in the air in parts per million (ppm) and keep track of how long it is present.
- They trigger an alarm if carbon monoxide is present at low levels for a long time or at high levels for a short time. The higher the concentration, the faster the alarm will respond.
- Most carbon monoxide detectors require a continuous power supply, so if the power cuts off then the alarm becomes ineffective, some models offer battery power back-up.
6. Types of carbon monoxide detector sensors
1. Biomimetic sensor
the sensor simulates CO effects on hemoglobin in the blood. The CO change the gel color while a separate sensor activate the alarm as it detects the color change.
- Advantages – reacting quickly when the gas has been detected.
- Disadvantages – they must kept plugged into a wall as they require more energy than other designs, detectors may also generate false alarm whenever you use common household chemicals and they aren’t suitable for climates with high humidity levels because the sensor will deteriorate.
2. Electrochemical sensor
electrochemical cell that is designed to produce current in relation to the amount of carbon monoxide present in the air, changes in the electrical current activate the alarm.
- Advantages – they will detect extremely low levels of the gas as they are highly sensitive.
- Disadvantages – You will need to replace the sensor every two years. But, if you can keep up the maintenance schedule, these detectors are the best type you can buy.
Check out the 6 Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors on the market right now:
1. Sensorcon Tough, Waterproof, Made in USA: Carbon Monoxide Tester & Meter
- The portable CO Detector is great for travel, making it simple to monitor carbon monoxide levels in your hotel room.
- Easy to use – Just press left button to turn on, and you are measuring in real time
- Reliable – Calibrated immediately before shipment, measure with confidence from 0-2000ppm with 1ppm resolution….
- Top Quality – Waterproof! Impact resistant!…
- Leading Support – Whether you buy from sensorcon.com or Amazon or someplace else, Sensorcon is available via phone or email to answer your operation questions or help you diagnose your measurements…
- Low level protection – clear visual and audible alarm at 35ppm, within seconds!
- Max mode – press the right button to make the LCD display hold the maximum concentration measured. Press again to go back to real-time mode…
- Alligator Clip – a simple clip on the back with a loop allows you to clip to your shirt, pants, or wear with a lanyard…
- Real people! – you can call Sensorcon, 716-566-2728 to get info about carbon monoxide. You will talk to a real person, someone whos knowledgeable and helpful,and certainly not an automated system
- Great price! 100% American Made
2. Kidde 900-0234 Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Alarm
- Provides reliable protection against the dangers of carbon monoxide
- Digital display feature adds an advanced level of protection showing co levels in ppm allowing you to see if levels change
- Nighthawk AC powered
- Plug in carbon monoxide alarm with battery back up and digital display
- Easy to install
- Provides reliable protection against the dangers of carbon monoxid
- Digital displyay feature adds an advanced level of protection showing co levels in ppm allowing you to see if levels change
- Written information and instruction
- Operation easy to understand
- Small sleek design
- Suitable for all living areas
3. Kidde C3010D Worry-Free Carbon Monoxide Alarm
- The Kidde C3010D is a 10-year, sealed battery, carbon monoxide alarm that uses electro-chemical sensing technology to protect you and family from the dangers of carbon monoxide
- The C3010D alarm will automatically activate when attached to the mounting bracket
- At the end of alarm life, the unit will chirp, indicating the alarm is in need of replacement
- A screwdriver can be used to deactivate the unit, stopping the end-of-life chirp and making it safe for disposal
- The inside cover of the mounting bracket features a quick reference guide for what to do in case of an alarm
- The C3010D is easy to install and is suitable for all living areas
- Ten-year life and limited warranty
4. First Alert CO615 Dual Power Carbon Monoxide Plug-In Alarm
- It can detect the CO you can’t see, smell or taste in the air
- It is recommended that you place one Carbon Monoxide alarm on every level of the home and one in each sleeping area
- The First Alert CO615 carbon monoxide alarm uses an electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor-the most accurate technology available
- Installation is as simple as plugging it in to any wall outlet
- Its easy-to-read backlit digital LED display gives you a clear read-out of current CO concentrations in parts per million
- The alarm includes a battery back-up giving you peace of mind in a power outage
- The front-open battery compartment allows easy battery change without dismounting the alarm
- The test/silence button both silences a non-threatening alarm or low battery warning and allows you to test the unit’s functionality
- The unit monitors and re-alarms if carbon monoxide levels persist sounding a loud 85-decibel horn
- An audible and visual low battery signal alerts you to replace the battery and an indicator alerts you when a battery has been removed
- An end-of-life alarm of three chirps alerts you to replace the unit
- Two AA batteries are included. 7-year limited warranty. UL listed
5. Kidde KN-COPP-B-LPM Battery-Operated Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Digital Display
- Kidde’s KN-COPP-LPM battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm with digital display helps to provide your home with extensive protection against the dangerous threat posed by the odorless and colorless gas
- With an increasing number of state and local governments passing legislation requiring CO detectors in homes, it’s never been a better time to safeguard your family against carbon monoxide exposure
- The KN-COPP-LPM is an essential device to help warn you and your family of dangerous carbon monoxide levels in your home
- This alarm measures the exposure to carbon monoxide over time; it is designed to sound at 85 decibels at 10 feet when it detects 70 ppm (parts per million) of CO for 60 to 240 minutes, 150 ppm for 10 to 50 minutes, or 400 ppm for 4 to 15 minutes
- The easily visible digital display indicates the level of CO that the unit is sensing, and it updates the status every 15 seconds for timely and accurate readings
- Its free-standing design allows for attachment to a wall or placement on a counter or nightstand for convenient and comprehensive protection
- The KN-COPP-LPM also includes a slide-out battery door that provides immediate access to the power source as well as a battery safeguard that makes it difficult to close the cover without batteries installed
- An LED lighting system on the unit signals power levels and sourcing: the green LED will flash once every 30 seconds to indicate the alarm is operating properly when power is present, and the red LED will pulse to indicate carbon monoxide has been detected until the device is reset or the CO threat is eliminated
- This device has an expected 7-year lifespan and comes equipped with a five-year manufacturer’s limited warranty
6. First Alert CO600 Plug In Carbon Monoxide Alarm , 120V Ac
- The First Alert plug in carbon monoxide detector easily plugs into any standard outlet with no additional mounting necessary
- Mute button silences any nuisance alarms
- Single button also tests detector functions
- This detector utilizes an electrochemical sensor for increased accuracy
- 5-year limited warranty
- Meets UL standards