A carbon monoxide detector typically lasts between five and seven years. Homeowners should check the back of a detector for a build date or expiration date in order to know when it is due for replacement.
When choosing a carbon monoxide detector replacement, consumers should choose one with fuel-cell electrochemical sensors as opposed to metal oxide or gel cell sensors. Although metal oxide and gel cell sensors have a longer life span, environmental factors such as humidity and temperature changes can undermine their accuracy. Fuel-cell electrochemical sensors are more sensitive to carbon monoxide and are less susceptible to false alarms.