Home AEDs and defibrillators are becoming much more popular in the US, and for good reason. Having an AED close by can be the difference between life and death. Here’s our guide to choosing the best AED for home and what you should look for before making a purchase.
What Makes AED Good for Homes?
When deciding which AED to purchase for your home, there are certain factors you’ll want to consider. Naturally, you’ll want to make sure your AED is FDA-approved. A faulty AED could fail when you need it most or even cause further injury.
You should also take a look at other factors; size, power, ease of use, and ease of maintenance are all important traits.
You’ll want to store your AED in plain view so it’s easy to access and monitor. While some may not mind a larger device taking up space or becoming an obvious statement piece, many would prefer something unobtrusive.
Power & Battery Type
Most AEDs are designed with portability in mind, so almost all of them are battery-powered. While the exact specifications of a battery can vary, there’s generally one consideration you’ll want to keep in mind: is the battery rechargeable or non-rechargeable?
Unless your family has a frequent need for a home AED, a rechargeable battery isn’t a stringent requirement. Still, some may feel an extra sense of security when utilizing a rechargeable battery.
Either way, you’ll want to check the specifications on your battery. There, you should find information on the shelf life or standby life (how long the battery lasts when it isn’t being used), and when the low battery indicator will come on.
Ease of Use
While some AED sellers will want to see proof you’re trained to use an AED, you can’t guarantee you’ll be the one who needs to use it in an emergency. While you can (and should) take strides to make sure you and your family members and/or roommates know how to use the AED, ease of use is still important.
The best AED will come with clear and concise instructions about both using the defibrillator and performing CPR. All instructions should be easy to read, and the shock button should have a clear label.
Ease of Maintenance
The average person doesn’t always have the time or resources to take an AED to a specialized repair shop anytime something needs updating. The ideal home AED should have a battery that’s easy to replace and/or recharge, and have clear indicators for when maintenance is needed. An AED that’s difficult to maintain is one you can’t depend on in an emergency.
How Much Does a Home AED Cost?
A home AED—also called a public access AED—is very different from a professional use AED. If you’ve ever watched a medical drama and heard them shout “Clear!” you likely saw them using a professional use AED. If you’re shopping for AEDs and see prices over $2,000, you’ve probably stumbled upon the professional use AEDs.
Home AEDs usually cost less than $1,600, with prices ranging from $1,200 – $1,900. Though this might seem pricey, remember this device could save your life.
Best Home AEDs Compared
|AED||Price||Warranty||Adult Pads||Pediatric Pads||Battery||8-yr. Life Cost||8-yr Life Cost w/ Ped. Pads|
|Zoll AED Plus [Best]||$2,100||7-year||5yr ($177)||2yr ($99)||N/A ($75)||$2,277||$2,673|
|HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P [Economical]||$1,315||8-year||4yr ($186)||4yr ($221)||N/A||$1,687||$2,129|
|Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2 [Bi-Lingual]||$1,745||8-year||4yr ($186)||4yr ($221)||N/A||$2,117||$2,559|
|Cardiac Science G5||$1,820||8-year||2yr ($69)||2yr ($102)||4yr ($395)||$2,491||$2,899|
|Philips OnSite||$1,470||8-year||2yr ($69)||2yr ($102)||4yr ($395)||$1,921||$2,369|
|Defibtech Lifeline||$1,245||8-year||2yr ($60)||2yr ($105)||5yr ($169)||$1,654||$2,074|
Top 5 AEDs for Home
Zoll AED Plus
What’s unique about the Zoll AED Plus is that it provides both shocks and CPR guidance. While many AEDs have in-depth instructions about performing CPR, the Zoll AED is the only AED which sees your CPR and provides feedback. Audio and visual prompts also guide you through the rescue with unmatched clarity.
The Zoll AED Plus Semi-Automatic includes a soft carry case, a one-piece CPR-D padz, a battery, a fast response kit, and a 7-year warranty.
HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P
The HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P is clinically advanced, lightweight, compact, and easy-to-use. The AED also has audio and visual prompts to guide the user step-by-step through the rescue process. Additionally, the Samaritan PAD 350P utilizes SCOPE Technology, optimizing the chances for defibrillation success.
The Samaritan PAD 350P is also extremely resistant to moisture and dust. Moreover, the practical Pad-Pak—which incorporates the battery and electrodes in a single-use cartridge—which means only one expiration date to monitor.
The Samaritan PAD 350P Semi-Auto AED comes with one Adult Pad-Pak, a semi-rigid carry case, and an 8-year warranty.
Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2
The Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2 is simple, portable, and made for use by the general public. To help facilitate this, the LIFEPAK has instructions in both English and Spanish. The LIFEPAK also uses ClearVoice technology to deliver instructions in both English and Spanish (when connected to wifi). These audio instructions also automatically adjust the volume to compensate for background noise.
When connected to wifi, the LIFEPAK CR2 also allows for remote monitoring, cprINSIGHT Technology to determine the degree and usefulness of a shock. The device also provides instructions and feedback for CPR on both children and adults.
The LIFEPAK CR2 Semi-automatic comes with 4-year electrodes, a 4-year battery, a carrying bag, and an 8-year warranty.
Cardiac Science Powerheart G5
The Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 combines automatic shock delivery, dual-language functionality, variable escalating energy, and fast shock times. Alongside RescueCoach user-paced prompts, these factors create an ease-of-use perfect for an emergency situation. It’s advanced technology also allows for customized energy levels for and quick delivery of post-CPR shocks.
The Powerheart G5 also includes numerous features for durability and easy maintenance. Through Patented Rescue Ready technology, the AED can self-check critical electrical components. Via USB, users can also quickly transfer and review data.
The Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 Semi-Automatic AED with Eng/Span Language includes a battery, iCPR Adult Pads with CPR Feedback, a Premium Carry Case, and a Universal Ready Kit.
Philips HeartStart OnSite
The Philips HeartStart OnSite AED uses Life Guidance to guide you through a cardiac emergency with a simple, step-by-step process. With help from the SMART Pads’s sensors, the AED will sense when you’ve completed each step and will refrain from giving further instructions until the previous steps are completed. This will prevent the user from feeling rushed or panicked.
For more information, you can view the brochure here.
The Philips Heartstart OnSite AED includes a 4-year battery, 2-year Adult Pads Cartridge, a Standard Carrying Case, and an 8-year warranty.
The Defibtech Lifeline AED has a simplified, streamlined design which allows for distraction-free use. With only two batteries and no moving parts or lids, the LifeLine AED ensures a smooth rescue process.
With one of the most advanced batteries in the industry, the light alerts the user to the device’s readiness. The Lifeline AED is also easy to upgrade and update utilizing the data card. This card also allows for easy retrieval of event data.
Should Every Home Have an AED?
While sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone—even those without a history of heart problems—there are some who are more at risk than others. Your living situation, age, and medical history can affect your chances of having a heart attack, therefore increasing your need for an AED.
The Mayo Clinic has a list of common risk factors, including…
- Tobacco and illicit drug usage
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- A family history of heart attacks
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Autoimmune condition
Even if you have none of these risk factors, you may still want to consider a home AED if you live somewhere remote and/or difficult to access. Minutes can make a difference when you have sudden cardiac arrest, and if snow, rugged terrain, or distance may delay an ambulance, then a home AED is all the more important.
Home AED Training Courses
As mentioned previously, it’s important you know how to use your AED. After all, no machine will do you any good if you can’t use it properly. In fact, some AED sellers will require you to present proof you know how to use an AED.
Fortunately, we at Prime Medical Training offer AED and CPR courses. At any of our locations, you can take either our First Aid CPR/AED Course or our CPR/AED Course. If you have any questions about these courses, feel free to reach out to us!