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How Often Do I Need to Replace My Carbon Monoxide Detectors?


As a homeowner, you are responsible for the safety of your family. That means keeping your home in good working order and being aware of potential dangers. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can be deadly. That's why it's important to have working carbon monoxide detectors in your home. But how often should you replace them? Here's what you need to know.

Why Do I Need Carbon Monoxide Detectors in My House?

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas that can be deadly if present in high levels in your home. Carbon monoxide is produced from various sources, such as fuel burning heaters, furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, and even cars.

Installing a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home will help protect you from dangerous levels of the gas by sounding an alarm if it reaches unsafe levels. These detectors not only provide peace of mind but can also save lives since they detect potentially deadly concentrations carbon monoxide before it can do any serious harm.

How Often Should I Replace the Batteries in My Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

If your home’s carbon monoxide detectors have replaceable batteries, replacing the batteries in them is an important part of keeping them working properly. It's recommended that you replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors every six months. Doing this regularly will help ensure that your carbon monoxide detectors’ performance remains consistent and reliable.

Many carbon monoxide detectors will begin making a chirping sound when it’s time to change their batteries. To be sure, check the owner’s manual, because some carbon monoxide detectors make multiple types of chirping sounds that each mean something different.

When Should I Replace a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

Generally, you should replace your home’s carbon monoxide detectors every five to seven years. However, deciding when to replace your carbon monoxide detectors isn't always as simple as waiting a certain amount of time. In some cases, your carbon monoxide detectors can malfunction or breakdown earlier than the five to seven year mark.

Some carbon monoxide detectors begin making a chirping sound at the end of their life that sounds different than the chirping sound that they make when their batteries need to be changed. Other types of carbon monoxide detectors self-monitor and are equipped with a digital display that will keep you informed about exactly what is going on with them, including alerting you when they:

  • Detect carbon monoxide
  • Need new batteries
  • Need to be replaced
  • Are malfunctioning

In some cases, getting a second opinion from an experienced electrician can help you make the best decision about whether you should replace your carbon monoxide detectors.

Signs That My Carbon Monoxide Detectors Aren’t Working Properly

Signs of a defective carbon monoxide detector include the following:

  • Failure to turn on when tested
  • Delayed reactions to high levels of carbon monoxide
  • Unexplainable chirps or beeping even after changing the batteries
  • Slowly increasing beeps or noises

If you suspect that your carbon monoxide detectors aren’t functioning properly, contact an experienced electrician for help with testing, calibration, and replacement.

Mel Carr Electric has been helping homeowners in Albany and its surrounding communities with their electrical safety, maintenance, repair, and installation needs for nearly 50 years. If you’re having electrical issues around your home, we’re here to help.

To learn more about Mel Carr Electric, check out our customers’ reviews and Code of Ethics.

Give us a call at (518) 500-3042 or contact us online today to discuss your situation with our experienced electricians in Albany.

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