5 Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Dubbed the ‘silent killer’, carbon monoxide (CO) is odourless, tasteless and colourless. It is still one of the most prominent causes of death due to poisoning, especially in the developing world.
With this in mind, it makes sense to buy the correct type for your home, right? We’ll discuss the in more depth below, but if you’re short on time, allow us to give you our winner, runner-up and one that you should probably avoid!
Which Carbon Monoxide Detector Should I Buy?
Top 5 CO2 Alarms
Nest Protect Carbon Monoxide Alarm
- Manufacturer: Nest
- Weight: 0.3 kg
- Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 7.2 cm
The king of smart tech when it comes to smoke alarms and CO detectors. We weren’t going to include this in our list, but we needed to include one smart device otherwise we’d get complaints from those that are looking for smarter devices.
The nest looks very nice and can be mounted on a ceiling. It is visible and will get visitors talking about it. The alarm unit comes with self-tapping screws i.e. no need to pre-drill on plasterboard walls or traditional walls.
Nevertheless, we don’t think most homes need such a device, especially at the price point that they’re usually available for. It’s quite gimmicky for what it’s supposed to do e.g. the light ring on the device’s central area will light up every time you walk past it when it’s dark.
For most homeowners, one of the four devices below would be more than adequate.
- Manufacturer: Kidde
- Weight: 0.16 kg
- Dimensions: 11 x 7 x 4 cm
This economical option gets really good reviews. With a built in lithium battery – which is designed to last for up to 10 years – this lightweight alarm comes with a digital display. There are 3 LEDs indicating alarm, operate and fault. An end of life warning will come on, but this is something to be expected towards the end of a 10 year term.
The digital display will show CO levels between 11 to 999 parts per million (ppm). Hopefully your reading will be edging towards zero, but it’s nice to see a read out on the display.
- Manufacturer: FireAngel
- Weight: 0.14 kg
- Dimensions: 14.2 x 11.7 x 4.6 cm
We’ve found very few faults with this alarm. It’s a really simple to install and use. It’s a good compact size and fits into the palm of your hand.
If you’re looking for an economical and functional CO detector that does exactly what it says on the tin, then you can’t go far wrong with the FireAngel CO-9X. The instructions are clear and it’s easy to maintain.
It is wall mountable, but we also decided to leave it next to the boiler on top of a wardrobe. You don’t need to really drill this into anywhere and it looks fine being placed on a shelf.
Two thumbs up from us.
- Manufacturer: X-Sense
- Weight: 0.32 kg
- Dimensions: 10.7 x 10.7 x 3 cm
This is a very stylish and futuristic looking detector. It comes with a backlit digital display, easily visible during the day or the evening. Easy to set up in minutes and easy to install. It comes supplied with all the screws and plugs and 3 AA batteries.
As for functionality, we tested it out and the readings are very accurate. It reads CO concentration build-ups from 30 to 300+ ppm.
On the downside, this alarm comes with a 5 year warranty, which is a little less than other like for like CO alarms.
- Manufacturer: FireAngel
- Weight: 0.12 kg
- Dimensions: 4 x 12.5 x 7.4 cm
We have another FireAngel CO alarm on our list and for good reasons. This well priced and functional CO aarm doubles up as a thermometer, meaning you can monitor the temperature as well as CO levels.
The FireAngel CO-9D provides early warning of both low or high levels of CO in your property via an LCD display and beeping. The alarm shows low levels of CO from 10 ppm, but maybe this isn’t low enough for some?
The small, portable nature of the alarm means you can use it at home in addition to taking it on holiday to your hotel room, holiday home, caravan or canal boat. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
BONUS 1: Best Portable Carbon Monoxide Detector For Your Car, Caravan or Boat
While the focus of this article is staying safe at home, CO poisoning has been known to occur in cars, trucks or caravans.
Most of these reported incidents are while the vehicle has its engine running in an enclosed space. The other significant way is from fumes leaking into the seating area e.g. a leak or blockage in the exhaust pipe.
There have also been reported cases of manufacturer caused faults such as the incident by Ford motors in the USA whereby 1.3 million Ford owners received notification of a faulty exhaust, causing carbon monoxide to seep into the compartment.
The first thing to do if you think that your vehicle might have an exhaust leak, take it to a garage or mechanic for inspection.
But how are you able to detect any leakage? Well, you can actually use any of the carbon monoxide detectors listed above, but there are also three other types that are designed for cars. We list these below in terms of portability as this is what most people are seeking when they’re buying one for their vehicles.
Sensorcon Industrial PRO
Just so you’re aware, we haven’t tested this portable CO2 alarm above for cars or caravans. Once we’ve done some testing, then we’ll do a full write up.
In the meantime, please do let us know if you have used any of the above in your cars, trucks, carvans, boats or other areas where portability is an important factor.