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The Best Carbon Monoxide Alarm - 2021

Last updated on April 29, 2021
Best Carbon Monoxide Alarm

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Our Picks For The Top Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Show Contents
Our Take
  Our Top Pick

Kidde Nighthawk White Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Kidde

Nighthawk White Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Overall Take

Easy Operation VerificationWith this carbon monoxide alarm, a blinking dot on the screen lets you know it's working.

  Runner Up

First Alert CO710 Digital Temp Carbon Monoxide Alarm

First Alert

CO710 Digital Temp Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Overall Take

10-Year Battery OperationThe battery on this carbon monoxide alarm is designed to last for 10 years, giving you ongoing protection.

  Best Basic

X-Sense White 10-Year Battery Carbon Monoxide Alarm

X-Sense

White 10-Year Battery Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Overall Take

Simple InterfaceIf you're looking for a simple device, this carbon monoxide alarm is a great option.

  We Also Like

Coreel LCD Display Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Coreel

LCD Display Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Overall Take

Electrochemical SensorThe highly accurate electrochemical sensor in this carbon monoxide alarm gives you the reassurance you need that your home is safe.

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Guide written by Stephanie Faris
Last updated on April 29, 2021

Carbon monoxide is a silent danger that can lurk in any home. It can cause serious health problems and even death.

Unfortunately, carbon monoxide is both colorless and odorless, making it impossible to detect on your own. Carbon monoxide can be released by malfunctioning appliances. When this happens in a closed, unventilated space like a house, carbon monoxide can gradually build up so much that it becomes harmful.

The best way to detect the presence of carbon monoxide in an enclosed space is with the use of a carbon monoxide detector. There are three types of detectors: biomimetic, which uses a gel that changes color in the presence of CO; metal oxide semiconductor, which uses a silica chip; and electrochemical, which has electrodes in a chemical solution that sense changes in electrical currents due to elevated CO levels.

But you need a device that does more than detect the presence of carbon monoxide. It also needs to set off an alert when levels reach a certain threshold. The type of alert can be voice-based or as a beep, but whatever you choose, make sure you won’t miss it if the alarm does go off.

The Best Carbon Monoxide Alarms

1
  Our Top Pick

Kidde Nighthawk White Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Alarm

This carbon monoxide alarm doesn't just display current levels. You can also push a "peak level" button and see, at a glance, the top level that's been detected since the last time you reset or unplugged it. In addition to a test button, you'll see a blinking dot in the lower-right corner of the display to assure you that it's operating normally.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Kidde
Model
2
  Runner Up

First Alert CO710 Digital Temp Carbon Monoxide Alarm

With this carbon monoxide alarm, you get a backlit LED that shows you the temperature and CO concentration. You can also press a button to see the peak level the CO in the area has reached. The 10-year lithium battery gives you peace of mind, but you'll also get an end-of-life alert to let you know when it's time to replace the unit itself.

Features


Specifications

Brand
First Alert
Model
3
  Best Basic

X-Sense White 10-Year Battery Carbon Monoxide Alarm

You can order this carbon monoxide alarm individually or in sets of three or five. The built-in lithium battery will give you 10 years of continuous use without having to worry about battery changes. There's no screen. Instead, this device uses alarm patterns to let you know whether the danger that's been detected is carbon monoxide or smoke.

Features


Specifications

Brand
X-Sense
Model
4
  We Also Like

Coreel LCD Display Carbon Monoxide Alarm

This alarm starts beeping when carbon monoxide gases are detected. The LCD screen will show you carbon monoxide levels in parts per million. This alarm uses an infrared photoelectric sensor, which utilizes top technology to detect the presence of carbon monoxide while reducing false alarms.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Coreel
Model
5

Google S3000BWES Nest White Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Choose from a wired or battery-powered unit with this carbon monoxide alarm, which also detects the presence of smoke or fire. If it ever goes off unnecessarily, you can silence it using the smartphone app. You can also test it with one tap and get a full report of how it's operating.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Google
Model

Our Carbon Monoxide Alarm Buying Guide

Carbon monoxide is a silent danger that can lurk in any home. It can cause serious health problems and even death.

Unfortunately, carbon monoxide is both colorless and odorless, making it impossible to detect on your own. Carbon monoxide can be released by malfunctioning appliances. When this happens in a closed, unventilated space like a house, carbon monoxide can gradually build up so much that it becomes harmful.

The best way to detect the presence of carbon monoxide in an enclosed space is with the use of a carbon monoxide detector. There are three types of detectors: biomimetic, which uses a gel that changes color in the presence of CO; metal oxide semiconductor, which uses a silica chip; and electrochemical, which has electrodes in a chemical solution that sense changes in electrical currents due to elevated CO levels.

But you need a device that does more than detect the presence of carbon monoxide. It also needs to set off an alert when levels reach a certain threshold. The type of alert can be voice-based or as a beep, but whatever you choose, make sure you won’t miss it if the alarm does go off.

DWYM Fun Fact

Carbon monoxide is a serious risk. Each year, at least 430 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning, but about 50,000 people visit emergency rooms for carbon monoxide-related symptoms.

Although a carbon monoxide alarm is one of the best ways to detect the dangers before they become a problem, there are also some telltale signs. Unfortunately, the symptoms tend to be similar to many illnesses. You could experience headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizzy spells and/or just general confusion. The key area of concern is if more than one person in your household is suddenly experiencing one or more of those symptoms. But each person will react differently to carbon monoxide poisoning, so that’s not a reliable gauge.

The Carbon Monoxide Alarm Tips and Advice

  • Some carbon monoxide detectors are also smoke detectors to give your home full protection. However, if you go this route, make sure you’re getting the best of each of those devices in one. Otherwise, you’ll be better off investing in separate smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • For best results, place your detector close to the area where you sleep so that it will wake you up if it goes off while you’re sleeping. It should be about five feet from the floor. If your home has multiple stories, you need one for each story.
  • Infrared photoelectric sensor-based detectors tend to do a better job without false alarms than the type that uses a gel or silica chip.
  • It’s important to consider how your detector is powered. Some will plug into a power outlet, while others use a battery. Battery-powered detectors can fail if the battery goes bad, but they also will continue to work during power outages.
  • How you’re alerted is important. Most alarms use a tone like a beep, although some are voice-based.
  • It can also be nice to be able to check the current CO levels with the press of a button. Some detectors let you see the peak carbon monoxide levels within a recent timeframe. This will help you not just see what current levels are, but whether they’ve increased to dangerous levels in recent days or weeks.­

About The Author

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Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and business writer whose work has appeared on numerous blogs. She worked for the State of Tennessee for 19 years, the latter six of which were spent as a supervisor. She has written content for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2011. In addition to her online content, she is also the author of eight novels for Simon & Schuster, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series.