The Problem with Batteries
In my previous post entitled “Cheap Carbon Monoxide Detector” I identified a number of battery-powered units. Whilst those units are relatively cheap to buy initially, you are advised to replace the batteries (2 or 3 x AA) every year. Obviously, this can be expensive unless you own a battery factory and if you want to avoid this expense and hassle you should consider buying a plug carbon monoxide detector instead. Having said that, you will of course have to pay for the electricity used to supply the power. One alternative option is a Plug Carbon Monoxide Detector.
Most plug carbon monoxide detectors have a battery installed as a back-up in case you suffer a power cut, but that single battery (included) will probably last for the entire life of the unit.
The main downside of these units is placement. Your options are restricted by the location of your plug sockets and you will not want to plug them in at floor level given the risk of children and pets tampering with them. Also, Carbon Monoxide alarms MUST be positioned at a minimum of 5 feet above floor level. Read my Alarm positioning guide here.
NB: First Alert’s cheapest unit is the CO600, but it DOES NOT come with battery back-up and so I wouldn’t recommend it.
The 3 best Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Detectors?
(1) First Alert CO605 Plug In Carbon Monoxide Alarm
This is First Alert’s second cheapest and plug in unit.
The Key Features are:
- 20-volt AC plug-in carbon monoxide alarm with battery back-up
- Uses electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor–the most accurate technology available
- Simple to use silence/test button
- Low battery warning
- end-of-life timer
- Includes 1-9V battery
- 7 year limited warranty
The only difference between this unit and its more expensive big brother is the lack of an LCD display.
In the event of a power cut the unit will seamlessly begin to use the battery back-up for added safety and peace of mind.
(2) First Alert CO615 Plug In Carbon Monoxide Alarm
As I have already mentioned, the only difference between this unit and the CO605 is the additional LCD display.
So, what does this display do and is it worth the extra money?
The displays shows various types of information in addition to the audible alarms, including:
- Gas concentration levels detected
- Low Battery Warning
- End of Life Warning
Personally, I quite like the added peace of mind that you get with an LCD display, but I suspect that some people could happily do without it. All of my carbon monoxide detectors have small LCD screens.
(3) Kidde KNCOPP3UK Carbon Monoxide Alarm (UK)
This is probably the best option for UK residents since it’s £10-20 cheaper than the First Alert alternatives.
The Key Features are:
- Digital display reveals CO concentration – updated every 15 secs
- Peak level button displays highest reading since unplugged / reset
- 9V battery back-up
- 85dB alarm at 10 feet
- Test & Reset button
- 7 year lifespan
- 5 year warranty
If I was looking to replace my existing carbon monoxide detectors, I would seriously consider buying these units provided I could find suitable places around the house to plug them in.
If you have any feedback or questions about my “Plug Carbon Monoxide Detector” post, please feel free to leave a comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org