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7 Best Gas Leak Detectors to Protect Your Home

Good Housekeeping Logo By Lynn Redmile, Good Housekeeping Institute of Good Housekeeping | Slide 1 of 12: A gas leak detector can be a literal life saver. They work in different ways, depending on the gas they are targeted toward, and the device should be used exactly as the manufacturer describes. Gas leak sensors detect the presence of a combustible or toxic gas and react by displaying a reading, setting off an audible or visual alarm and/or sending an alert to your phone. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install them, so they are positioned in the most appropriate location, like outside a bedroom for a carbon monoxide detector, or near a gas appliance for a combustible gas detector.The engineers at Good Housekeeping Institute have evaluated numerous gas leak detectors. When we road test, we expose the sensors to gas to see if they set off an alert, assess the ease of setup and intuitiveness of the companion apps, and look at things like integration with other smart home products. Based upon our testing, category expertise, and review of newer and innovative leak detectors on the market, these are the best gas leak detectors for you:Best Combination Gas Detector: Kidde Nighthawk KN-COEG-3Best Combustible Gas Detector: EG Air EG-NGD050 Natural/Propane Gas Detector Best Handheld Combustible Gas Leak Detector: Amprobe GSD 600 Gas Leak DetectorBest Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detector: First Alert Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm SCO501CNBest Propane Gas Leak Detector: MTI Industries 30-442-P-WT Propane Gas AlarmBest Radon Gas Leak Detector: Corentium Home by Airthings Best Smart Gas Leak Detector: Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide DetectorWhat type of gas to watch out forSome carbon monoxide detectors double up on protection and also alert you if smoke is present, while others can identify more than one gas, making them more useful for multiple applications. The manufacturers are very specific about which gas or gases their detector will sense, and the detector will not sniff out a certain gas if it's not listed by the manufacturer. Here are some of the common offenders you'll want to watch out for in your home:Combustible gases: Natural gas mostly comprising methane and propane have an additive called mercaptan that smells like rotten eggs – but if you’re not in the immediate area where the source is, you might not smell that leak until it’s catastrophically too late. Combustible detectors use catalytic and infrared sensors, and since propane gas is heavier than air, detectors should be placed low to the ground.Toxic gases like carbon monoxide: Exposure to high levels of colorless odorless carbon monoxide (CO) from a leaking appliance or a vehicle running in an attached garage is harmful, and can be fatal. These gases are lighter than air, so detectors should be placed high in a room to detect potential leaks. Toxic gases are identified by electrochemical and metal oxide semiconductor technologies. Radon: While a concentration in your basement or crawl space may not cause your home to explode the way propane or natural gas can, it’s radioactive and is the second leading cause of lung cancer, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

A gas leak detector can be a literal life saver. They work in different ways, depending on the gas they are targeted toward, and the device should be used exactly as the manufacturer describes. Gas leak sensors detect the presence of a combustible or toxic gas and react by displaying a reading, setting off an audible or visual alarm and/or sending an alert to your phone. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install them, so they are positioned in the most appropriate location, like outside a bedroom for a carbon monoxide detector, or near a gas appliance for a combustible gas detector.

The engineers at Good Housekeeping Institute have evaluated numerous gas leak detectors. When we road test, we expose the sensors to gas to see if they set off an alert, assess the ease of setup and intuitiveness of the companion apps, and look at things like integration with other smart home products. Based upon our testing, category expertise, and review of newer and innovative leak detectors on the market, these are the best gas leak detectors for you:

What type of gas to watch out for

Some carbon monoxide detectors double up on protection and also alert you if smoke is present, while others can identify more than one gas, making them more useful for multiple applications. The manufacturers are very specific about which gas or gases their detector will sense, and the detector will not sniff out a certain gas if it's not listed by the manufacturer. Here are some of the common offenders you'll want to watch out for in your home:

  • Combustible gases: Natural gas mostly comprising methane and propane have an additive called mercaptan that smells like rotten eggs – but if you’re not in the immediate area where the source is, you might not smell that leak until it’s catastrophically too late. Combustible detectors use catalytic and infrared sensors, and since propane gas is heavier than air, detectors should be placed low to the ground.
  • Toxic gases like carbon monoxide: Exposure to high levels of colorless odorless carbon monoxide (CO) from a leaking appliance or a vehicle running in an attached garage is harmful, and can be fatal. These gases are lighter than air, so detectors should be placed high in a room to detect potential leaks. Toxic gases are identified by electrochemical and metal oxide semiconductor technologies.
  • Radon: While a concentration in your basement or crawl space may not cause your home to explode the way propane or natural gas can, it’s radioactive and is the second leading cause of lung cancer, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
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