Reducing the Risk of Air Conditioner Fires
There is no better feeling than walking out of the blistering summer heat and into the cool climate of your air conditioned home. However, what many people don’t know is that the same AC unit that makes summer temperatures more bearable can sometimes be a major fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association, air conditioner fires caused 20 deaths and an estimated $82 million in property damage across the nation in 2016. There are several reasons why these potentially catastrophic fires might occur.
With sweltering temperatures outside, you might not think twice about letting your air conditioning unit run all day and night. However, prolonged overuse can cause serious issues and create a risk of your unit catching fire. Continuous use of the AC can lead to parts of its internal machinery breaking down and can shorten the lifespan of your unit as well as making it a fire hazard. Instead of leaving the air conditioner to run all day, consider shutting it off whenever you leave the house and turning it back on when you return. Turning the AC off at night when temperatures are less unbearable is also advisable to keep your unit running well and home safe from fire.
Another potential cause of air conditioner fires is improper maintenance of the unit. Annual checks should be performed on your AC unit to ensure that all of its pieces and parts are in proper working order. Filters should be inspected and cleaned regularly and replaced when needed. It is also important to never use extension cords when plugging in you air conditioner unit, and to make sure that it is securely attached to the window. As well, it is essential to keep the space around your AC free of debris, as any stray materials might get sucked into the unit and catch fire.
When the temperate begins to cimb, many homeowners rush to take their air conditioning unit out of storage and reinstall it immediately. While the heat might be unbearable, it is nothing compared to the tragedy of losing your home and belongings to a house fire that could have been avoided. When setting up your AC, take some time to check that all the equipment is in the same state as it was when you last put it away. If there are any broken panels or loose wires, the unit might not be safe for use. If you stored your air conditioning unit in a garage, shed, or storage unit throughout the fall and winter seasons, the wires could have been tampered with by mice, rats, or other small rodents. One chewed up wire inside your unit is all it takes for a fire to start.
In the case that your air conditioning unit does catch fire, our clean-up and restoration experts at SERVPRO of North Richland & Ashland Counties are here to help. Our employees are experienced, well-trained, and have all the necessary tools to restore your property after a fire “like it never even happened.”