Uncategorized / August 10, 2023

When to Replace Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

Every home in San Diego County should have both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors installed, as these are essential safety devices to keep you and your family safe. Smoke detectors sound an alarm when smoke particles are present in the air, which can alert you to potential fire in your home. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can be fatal at certain levels, so you need a detector that will trigger when it senses the presence of CO in your home’s air.

Over time, sensors in your smoke and CO detectors can wear out and stop functioning properly, just like any other appliance in your home, so they need to be tested and replaced regularly. If you’re not sure if it’s time for replacements, the home professionals at Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar can inspect your appliances and advise you. Contact us online or call (619) 313-6344 to make an appointment.

Smoke Detectors

It’s important that smoke detectors are installed currently and properly maintained to ensure that they can protect you and your family.

Where and how many smoke detectors?

Smoke detectors should be installed on the ceiling, as smoke tends to rise before it fills a room. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends smoke alarms be installed on every level of your home. You should make sure that there is a detector in each bedroom and in adjacent hallways. 

Smoke detector batteries

No matter how many smoke detectors you have, they won’t do any good if they don’t have working batteries. In fact, in 41% of fires where smoke alarms were installed but did not operate, the cause was dead or disconnected batteries, according to the National Fire Protection Association. People sometimes remove the batteries if the detector goes off when they are cooking. This practice should be avoided, as it’s very easy to forget to put them back in.

Change your clocks, change your batteries

A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries in all your smoke detectors when you change your clocks in the spring and fall. If your smoke detector occasionally beeps, this could be an indication of a dying battery. If the problem continues after you swap in a new battery, contact Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar to schedule an inspection.

Types of smoke detectors

There are a variety of smoke detectors available to homeowners.

Replaceable battery smoke detectors

The most common type of home smoke detector in use in the United States is the replaceable battery type. These use some variety of regular household battery (9v, AAA, AA, etc.). Batteries should be tested a month and replaced twice a year (see above).

10-year battery alarms

These types of smoke detectors come pre-installed with a sealed battery. The benefit of this kind of detector is that the batteries do not need to be replaced; however, they should still be tested every month.

Hard-wired smoke detectors

Some smoke detectors are actually hard-wired into your electrical system. These also have a battery for backup in case your electricity goes out. When the time comes to have your hard-wired alarm replace, you should make sure to use the same type from the same manufacturer.  The professional electricians at Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar can safely and quickly install your hard-wired replacement detector.

When to Replace Your Smoke Detector

Nearly all smoke alarms and detectors come with a sticker with a replacement date, but the rule is to install a new one every 10 years. In addition, all detectors have a test button that will sound a loud beep when pressed. Test your alarm every month to make sure it’s working. If not, check the batteries or replace the unit.

Always replace your smoke detector if:

  • It is more than 10 years old
  • The alarm is beeping and changing the batteries does not fix the problem
  • The alarm fails the monthly test
  • You have recently had a fire

The home professionals at Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar can give you advice and recommendations—give us a call at (619) 313-6344.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, invisible, and–most importantly–poisonous gas that is produced by appliances like your furnace or dryer vent, or your fireplace or chimney. Other sources of carbon monoxide are running gas-powered vehicles and generators, stoves, lanterns, and ranges. More than 400 people in the U.S. die from carbon monoxide poison every year, according to the CDC. So it is very important to make sure to have these serviced regularly to prevent any potential CO leaks, and to have a fully functioning detector.

Check your CO detector batteries

As with your smoke detector, the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors should be tested every month and replaced twice a year. In fact, you should make it a point to check the batteries in both devices at the same time to make sure your home is fully protected. Give the pros at Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar a call if your carbon monoxide detector is not working or if you need to have one installed.

CO detectors – where and how many?

A CO detector should be installed on every level of your home, just like your smoke detectors. You should have a working CO monitor within 10 feet of each bedroom. If you have an attached garage, make sure to have a CO detector near the entry to your house. While smoke detectors should be mounted on the ceiling, carbon monoxide detectors should installed at or above eye level on a wall. This is because carbon monoxide gas is heavier and doesn’t rise to the ceiling in most indoor spaces.

When to Replace Your Carbon Monoxide Detector

You can expect your carbon monoxide detector to keep your home safe for five to seven years. Look for a label on the device with an expiration date. If you don’t see one and you don’t know when the detector was installed, it’s best to assume it should be replaced. Some detectors also have a built-in alarm when it’s nearing the end of its useful life—check the back of the alarm for specifics. Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar can help you install a new CO detector. Give us a call at (619) 313-6344 or book online. 

Always replace your carbon monoxide detector if:

  • It is more than five to seven years old
  • If you don’t know how old it is
  • The alarm signals an end-of-life signal
  • The alarm fails the monthly test

Types of Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide detectors come in a variety of options.

Digital Read-out CO detectors

These types of CO detectors allow you to see the current concentration of carbon monoxide in your home via a digital readout, displayed in parts per million (ppm). These alarms run on typical household batteries.  

Hard-wired CO detectors

Similar to the smoke detectors referenced above, these devices connected directly to your electrical supply and have battery backup. Some have digital readouts as well. Hard-wired CO detectors should be installed by a qualified electrician from Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar.

Combined Smoke and CO detectors

These are exactly what they sound like—two detectors in one. While they seem convenient, these detectors have a drawback because smoke detectors should be positioned on the ceiling, while CO detectors should be installed on the wall.

Smoke and CO detectors provide safety and peace of mind

Keeping your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors up to date is an important element to making sure you have a save environment for you and your family. Contact Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar online or by phone at (619) 313-6344 today to schedule an appointment and keep your household safe.

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