Why do AC Fires Occur And What You Can do to Eliminate The Risk?
7,400 fires were reported across the United States resulting from a faulty air conditioning system or related unit as per data collected by the National Fire Protection Association. These incidents resulted in hundreds of injuries, 29 deaths and more than 200 million dollars wasted in property damage. June, July, and August accounted for nearly 50% of the AC fires.
While there is no single reasons for these fires – having your Bay Area system maintained by a trained and experienced contractor can go a long way in cutting down the risk of safety hazards, including fires.
What Causes AC Fires?
Ill-maintained air conditioners run the risk of catching fires due to faulty wiring or some other issue. Fires can also be caused because of dust and dirt accumulation resulting in a system malfunction. You should never store flammable materials near your system. These are the three most common causes of air conditioner fires in the United States.
- Flammable Materials
Your air conditioner is at a risk of catching fire if it has combustible materials near it. This can be in the form of leaves, paper, or any other similar debris. Many people tend to store their gasoline tanks near the air conditioner as well. Make sure you keep at least 3 feet of space around your unit free of debris and other materials.
- Not Cleaning the Air Conditioner
Accumulation of dust and dirt particles can occur if you don’t clean your air conditioner properly. You may end up with debris collecting in the coils, filters, air vents, and fins. This can obstruct the regular air flow of the HVAC system and cause the unit to malfunction. It can also place the system at an increased risk of catching fire.
- Faulty Equipment or Parts
You can fail to identify parts that are faulty with the system when you neglect it. For instance, large heat tends to accumulate when the air conditioning fan degrades and stops functioning. This may cause temperatures within the air conditioner to rise rapidly. Your heating pipes may ignite because of this. It is recommended that you always have a professional service your system regularly. Professionals can replace worn out parts with new ones which could help in extending the life of your unit.
Prevent Fires with Air Conditioning Maintenance
Air conditioning servicing and maintenance by trained technicians can save your system from catching fire. You should have your air conditioning unit inspected by a professional contractor at least 1 to 2 times a year. Experts know the early warning signs to look out for. They will clean the system completely and carefully. They will also check all your parts to assess the ones that need repairs.
Professionals can help you discover potential issues that require fixing. They will change worn out parts with originals. However, it is important that you carefully consider the air conditioning professional you want to work with. You should steer clear of sales gimmicks. Select someone who is within your budget, is professional, has a good track record and is available to handle emergencies.
Regular air conditioner maintenance costs are negligible when you compare it with the costs you would incur if your system catches fire.