How to Avoid Air Conditioning-Related Fire Hazards

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Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer season. In Arizona, that means temperatures will soon soar. As the valley heats up, Phoenix residents count on their air conditioners to provide trouble-free cooling all summer long. Most air conditioners are manufactured to extremely high standards and are reliable year in and year out. However, there is one fact that most homeowners remain unaware of – air conditioners can pose a risk of fire and need to be inspected on a regular basis to ensure the safety of your home.

There is nothing more heartbreaking than suffering the misfortune of a house fire. It is one of the most traumatic experiences a homeowner will ever go through. The National Fire Protection Association reports that HVAC-related fires cause close to $100 million in property damage in the United States each year. Fires caused by HVAC related issues are particularly frustrating because many, if not most HVAC fires, are utterly preventable. It’s ironic that the very appliance responsible for cooling your home can also, if neglected, be responsible for torching it.

Most fires would never happen if homeowners took the time to inspect potentially hazardous areas of their home and practice preventive maintenance measures.

Home Air Conditioning Fire Hazards and Danger Zones

In the aftermath of a fire, inspectors often note that the cause of the blaze was avoidable. Here are some of the most common HVAC-related fire hazards:

  • Electrical Issues – Over 80 percent of AC repairs are due to electrical issues which are the number one reason for air conditioner-related fires. As appliances get older, normal wear and tear can cause serious problems with electrical wiring or circuits. Air conditioners use a lot of power and can overheat when they are continuously running full blast for months. Understanding the condition of your HVAC unit and all its component parts, inside and out, is essential to preventing dangerous situations. Our experienced professionals know what to look for whether it’s a frayed wire or a potentially faulty circuit which may flame out.
  • Combustible Materials – HVAC units in the garage or basement are sometimes incorrectly used as shelves or “temporary” storage areas, which is especially dangerous in cramped quarters. Setting cans of paint, solvents, chemicals, cleaning solutions or any other combustible materials on or near your HVAC unit is a very bad idea. Outside, it’s important to inspect the area surrounding your condenser and check for leaves or debris which can cause problems. The areas surrounding your HVAC unit should always be completely clear.
  • What Can Possibly Go Wrong? – Over the years, we have seen bare wires chewed by rodents, units damaged by storms or lightening, and faulty electrical parts that have simply worn down over time. There are many potentially dangerous situations which homeowner have no way of knowing about unless they are a trained electrician. It’s important for your AC unit to be checked by a professional at least once a year.

Schedule an Air Conditioning Home Inspection Today!

As summer draws near, remember what Ben Franklin advised, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Don’t wait for small problems to turn into major headaches or costly fires. Give us a call today and schedule your pre-summer air conditioning inspection.