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It’s very common for homeowners to come home from work, only to find that their smoke detectors have been set off during the day by the high humidity in their homes.

While you might think that this doesn’t happen very often, we have first hand experience speaking to home owners all across the US who have this issue especially during some months.

In this article, we will discuss why this can happen and your best bet is to purchase a smoke detector that are reliable in humid climates.

Why Does Humidity Set Off Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are designed to detect the presence of smoke and automatically sound an alarm. Smoke detected by a smoke detector can come from either fire or from other causes, such as steam heating systems, dust on electronic air cleaners, cigarettes and food that is being prepared for cooking.

As you can see smoke detectors do more than detector smoke. In fact, traditional smoke detectors go off when they detect that there’s anything in the air.

If in your case the humidity comes from cooking or from a shower, you most likely need to move your smoke detector away. According to the manufacturer First Alert you should place a smoke detector no closer than 10 feet from a source of heat or smoke such as a stove or shower.

Quick Tip:

There are 2 main solutions if your smoke detector goes off because of humid climate. Purchase a smart smoke detector or purchasing a photo-electric smoke detectors. More details below!

 

In the following paragraphs we’ll discuss the differences between the 2 main types of smoke detectors (photo-electric vs ionizing). You will see that photo-electric smoke detectors are usually recommended in areas where you don’t want a very sensitive device.

Finally we’ll go over how smart smoke detectors have overcome the issue of humidity all together and are by far the most reliable solution.

What Type of Smoke Detector is Better for Humid Climates?

The best solution for preventing smoke detectors from going off in high humidity is to purchase a photoelectric smoke detector that will not go off due to the presence of steam or water vapor.

Photo-electric detectors are best suited for any sensitive area. We wrote much more about photo-electric detectors on this page.

How to Know if Your Smoke Detector is Photoelectric or Ionizing?

Take a look at the back of your smoke detector. Next to the device numbers there is always a letter. It is either “I” for Ionizing or a “P” for Photo-electric. Of course, most smoke detector manufacturers will also write it directly on the back of their device.

Are Smart Smoke Detectors Good in Humid Areas?

Smart smoke detectors are good in humid areas because unlike traditional smoke detectors they can detect the difference between a lot of smoke and just a little.

Why is this so important? Well, the alarm won’t go off when it senses a little humidity. There is no need to worry about steam or dust in the air with this type of detector because there is nothing that can set it off.

This new technology works in any area, but they are especially good in tricky places like kitchens, near washrooms and in humid climates.

Best Photo-Electric Smoke Detectors for Humid Climates

3. Kidde PE9 Battery-Operated Photoelectric Smoke Alarm

Most Inexpensive

The Kidde PE9 is a great device. It offers exactly what you would expect from a traditional smoke detector, but offers this at an amazingly low price.

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Smart Rating
Price
Low Cost
Appearance
Classic

The Kidde P9050 Battery-Operated Photoelectric Sensor Smoke Alarm is an advanced, yet highly affordable photoelectric sensor that is effective in detecting fires, while offering less sensitivity than ionizing smoke detectors.

The battery backup provides continuous protection even during power outages.  Finally, we like that the standard format of this smoke detector means that you will most likely be able to replace your current device for this one without having to screw new holes in your cealing.

Amazon Rating
4.5/5

2. First Alert BRK 7010B Hardwired Smoke Detector with Photoelectric Sensor

Best Wire-Powered

While most smoke detectors are battery-powered, if you're looking for a wired device the list of photoelectric devices is very short. Of the available devices our favourite is the BRK 7010.

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Smart Rating
Power Source
Wired with battery backup
Price
20$+ price range
Thermostat Features
All basic features included

The BRK 7010B hardwired smoke detector with photoelectric sensor and battery backup features convenient 9 volt battery backup, silence/test button, dust cover, 85 decibel alarm. Inter-connectable with BRK and first alert hardwired smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Intuitive latching alarm indicator identifies which unit triggered the alarm. Backed by 10 year limited warranty and tested to meet UL 217 standards.


https://amzn.to/3qNHejA

Amazon Rating
4.7/5

1. Kidde Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector, Hardwired, Interconnect Combination Smoke & CO

Best All-In-One

By all-in-one we mean that this device is capable of providing you with both a great photoelectric sensor, as well as a CO detector.

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Smart Rating
Appearance
Minimal & Modern
Thermostat Features
All basic features included
Price
Low Cost

The Kidde Combo Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector provides protection from two deadly threats – smoke and carbon monoxide. This is why we love this affordable device.

The unit features a photoelectric sensor to detect visible fire particles, while making sure humidity doesn’t the alarm. A 85 decibel alarm is included to ensure that you’re aware of the threat.

Our favorite feature? We love that instead of simply ringing the alarm voice will say “Fire Fire”, “Warning Carbon Monoxide”, or “Low Battery” depending on the issue. 

The combo detector is hardwired with 120V power source and 9V front-loading battery backup. This unit protects during a power failure as the combo smoke and CO detector operates on a 120V power source with 9V front-loading battery

Amazon Rating
4.7/5

The Best Smart Smoke Detector for Humid Areas

Google Nest Protect Smoke Alarm

Smartest Device

Developed by Nest, one of the most trusted brands in smart home devices, this smart smoke detector contains all of the features of other devices and much much more.

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Smart Rating
Appearance
Minimal & Modern
Thermostat Features
All basic features included
Compatibilities
Alexa Compatible

This is more than just your typical smoke and CO detector, we’re talking about an extremely advanced smart home device. Nests Split Spectrum Sensor looks for multiple smoke signals, from light smoke to actual flames to ensure the warning matches the level of danger.

Get phone alerts so you know all of this without needing to be right on top of things and if alarms start blaring unexpectedly, use the app to silence the alarm.

Amazon Rating
4.7/5

Final Thoughts

If you live in a humid climate, or if your home has certain characteristics that make humidity more likely, then the chances are greater than normal that you will need to specific smoke detectors. We hope this article has helped you learn about that content today.

The good news is that there are many options available on the market for these problems, we’re certain one of the smoke detectors reviewed will be great for your purpose.

Thanks for reading!

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