It’s a very common question and one we’re all too happy to answer. There can be a number of factors at play here. Ranging from the detector needing to be reset or replacing the unit’s battery, there are a few things that can be triggering a beeping or nuisance alarm. It’s important to note that non-functioning carbon monoxide alarms can be a severe liability as they can leave you vulnerable to the many dangers associated with undetected carbon monoxide. Let’s get to the bottom of it. Here are few things that may be triggering nuisance alarms or chirping for your carbon monoxide detectors:
Location is Key to Avoiding Nuisance Alarms
Similar to smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors need to be placed in the correct setting for the best result. You’ll generally want at least 10 ft. of space from high humidity sources such as showers, dishwashers, laundry machines and humidifiers. That last one usually catches folks off guard as they’ll inadvertently place a humidifier near or next to a carbon monoxide alarm. The mist that a humidifier releases can interfere with your carbon monoxide alarm’s sensor, triggering a nuisance alarm.
It’s not just mist though. You’ll also want to avoid areas that release a lot of air. Think ceiling fans, heating vents and air conditioners… A carbon monoxide alarm placed too close to these is susceptible to nuisance alarms as the sensor is being disrupted by a large source of air. Other factors that can trigger a nuisance alarm include dust and cold temps. As always, consult your carbon monoxide alarm manual when it comes to installation (all USI Carbon Monoxide Detectors feature a manual that can be found online at the product page).
A Low Battery May Be Responsible for Chirping
If your USI Carbon Monoxide Alarm is chirping once every 40 seconds, it’s time to replace the unit’s battery. Before you do this, make sure that the battery activation tab has been completely removed (if applicable). The battery also needs to be properly aligned. If this doesn’t silence the chirping, it’s definitely time to replace the detector’s battery.
An End of Service Alarm May Be the Cause of Chirping
Somethings can’t be corrected with a battery replacement (this is especially true for sealed battery alarms). Depending on the alarm you’ve selected, your USI Carbon Monoxide Detector will feature an activation period of 7 to 10 years. One thing that I’m asked a lot on is the activation period. There is a date printed on the back of your alarm. It’s important to note that this is a manufacturer’s date. The 7 to 10 year lifespan will begin once your alarm is activated upon installation.
Resetting Your Alarm to Silence Chirping or Nuisance Alarms
You can reset your carbon monoxide alarm by pressing the test/silence button for 10 to 15 seconds. This will return the detector to its original status. It’s important to use this feature whenever an alarm triggers. You’ll also want to use this whenever changing a unit’s battery or installing a new detector. The silence button can also be used to quiet nuisance/non-hazardous alarms. Resetting a detector that’s chirping or triggering nuisance alarms is a solid solution. Just be certain that the alarm is active when you’re finished silencing/testing.