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Maintenance & Installations  /  January 6, 2020

Hardwired or Battery-Powered: Which Smoke Detector is Best?

Battery-Powered Smoke Detectors

Battery-powered smoke detectors are, as their name describes, powered only by a battery, and are not wired to your home’s electrical system. Most battery-powered smoke detectors use 9-volt alkaline, AA or lithium batteries.

Benefits: Battery-powered smoke detectors are easy to install and easy to find at your local store. Lithium-powered detectors are a great, low-maintenance option, as lithium batteries are designed to last the entire 10 years of your smoke detector’s life.

Things to Consider: 9-volt or AA battery-powered detectors will need changing at least one to two times a year. Some of the more basic battery-powered options may not be as connective as their high-tech or hardwired counterparts, meaning only one alarm might sound at a time (the alarm nearest to the fire) in the event of a blaze.

Different Types of Battery-Powered Smoke Detectors

  • Code One 10-Year Sealed Battery Detector: (Basic option) Takes one lithium battery which should last for 10 years (the lifespan of the detector), no need to ever change battery, has an 85 db alarm when hazards are detected.
  • : (Standard option) Takes two AA batteries, connects to other alarms via radio frequencies, has voice, traditional alarm and low-frequency alarm for the hearing impaired or elderly.
  • : (High-tech option) Takes Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA (L91) batteries, has voice alarms in addition to traditional alarms, can detect carbon monoxide and other hazards, connects to smart devices and other alarms in home.

Hardwired Smoke Detectors 

Hardwired smoke detectors have to be connected or wired into your home’s power supply. Changing them or fixing them can be a little trickier than battery-powered smoke detectors, as you’ll have to shut the power off at the circuit box. If you’re not especially handy, make sure to call an electrical professional to handle your smoke detector maintenance.

Different Types of Hardwired Smoke Detectors

Benefits: These smoke detectors are powered by your home’s electrical system, meaning as long as the power is on, they should be too. They also have backup batteries in the event of a power outage. Hardwired smoke detectors are a reliable option that can be interconnected to other alarms throughout the house.

Things to Consider: Installing, maintaining and repairing these alarms take a little more electrical savvy than battery-powered versions – you may need to call in an electrical handyman to install them. Hardwired alarms still have backup batteries that should be tested and replaced regularly.

  • Kidde Hardwire Smoke Detector: (Basic/standard option) Interconnected alarm system will all sound when one alarm is set off. Takes a 9-volt backup battery to protect against power outages.
  • Google Nest Protect (Wired): (High-tech option) Has all the features of Google Nest Protect (Battery), takes 3 AA backup batteries to protect against power outages.

Which is better?

Both hardwired and battery-powered alarms are adequate at defending your home from fires; the choice ultimately comes down to the level of convenience and technology you’re looking for, as well as your budget. The important thing is to make sure that you have smoke alarms installed in every room of your home, and in the right spots inside those rooms. 

Need help installing your smoke detectors?
Call Handyman Connection of Mount Pleasant

Whichever smoke detector you choose, it’s important to make sure they’re installed correctly, and in the right places inside your home. The electrical handyman experts at Handyman Connection of Mount Pleasant can help you test, install or maintain your smoke detectors so your home and your family will have 24/7 protection against fire hazards. Call (843) 287-9223 or fill out a form to get in touch with our team today.

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