How will you know when it’s time to replace detectors in your home? The smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors installed in your house safeguard the lives of you and your family from these dangerous threats. However, these units don’t last forever. While most people are aware that they should be tested monthly and fresh batteries need to be installed every year, they may not realize that the effective life span of both smoke and CO detectors is limited. Eventually, these units become unreliable and replacement is required.
If any detector ever fails to respond when you press the “Test” button on the front of the unit, it is defective and must be replaced immediately—regardless of its age. Here how to decide when to replace aging detectors on time:
A typical smoke detector will warn you when a new battery is needed by emitting an audible “chirp” noise. However, in most cases there is no audible alert when the unit exceeds its expected service life and needs to be replaced. Smoke detectors should be replaced before they reach the 10-year mark.
Take the smoke detector off the wall and look at the back of the unit. You will find a date of manufacture stamped on the back. If the unit’s age is approaching 10 years, replace the detector now.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The sensor incorporated in carbon monoxide detectors loses sensitivity over the years. Beginning in 2010, all new CO detectors are required to emit a chirp alarm when the detector needs replacement. However, it’s safer to verify the age of the unit and not depend solely on the alarm to alert you that replacement is needed.
Remove the carbon monoxide detector and look at the date of manufacture stamped on the back. If the unit is more than five years old, it’s a good idea to replace it right now. In any case, smoke detectors should always be replaced before they reach seven years old.
For professional advice and service to replace detectors on time, in the Coastal Bend contact CCAC.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about your HVAC system, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.