When it comes to protecting your family, pets and possessions, reliability and a reputable name stand out as critical features. There are several smart home products in this category that look impressive and can even speak to you with a friendly voice, but for a capability this important, we favored devices that were trouble-free and inexpensive enough to allow purchasing several for your home.
This First Alert ZCombo Z-Wave combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm is affordable and is manufactured by a trusted name in home safety. Relax with peace of mind that you will be alerted if smoke or carbon monoxide is detected while you’re away. An absolute necessity if you have pets. The ZCombo provides status on remaining battery levels; Now you can tell when to preemptively change backup batteries instead of being awakened in the middle of the night with those annoying low battery reminder beeps.
The biggest negative to the ZCombo is that it doesn’t provide a hard-wired power option and doesn’t integrate with the other First Alert/BRK installed sensors. In practice, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the battery life of our ZCombo, which shows as 93% after a year and a half of operation. As discussed in the reader feedback though, battery life prediction on these devices can be a bit inaccurate, particularly when using Lithium and NiMh batteries. Regardless of battery type, for safety critical devices, it’s best to proactively replace batteries on a regularly scheduled cycle. You may still get additional service life from these batteries in less critical home devices.