Is your home protected from the hazards of HVAC fires? House fires related to heating and cooling systems may be more common than you think. Most of the time, these units run quietly and safely in the background of our lives, keeping our homes comfortable. However, statistics show that more than 58,000 HVAC fires occur in homes every year.

Air Conditioners

AC units account for more than 6,000 HVAC fires every year. Here are some causes and preventive measures you can take:

  • Clogged air filter. A dirty air filter can eventually obstruct airflow through the system and cause the unit to run continuously. This can dangerously overheat the 220-volt compressor installed in the outdoor AC unit, as well as the indoor fan blower. To ensure proper airflow, change the system air filter monthly all summer long.
  • Electrical overload. If window air conditioners are in use, make sure each unit is plugged directly into an electrical outlet rated to supply proper amperage. A unit drawing too much current can overheat electrical wiring and cause an HVAC fire hazard. Also, never plug a window AC into an extension cord.

Furnace and Heaters

About 52,000 household fires originate with heating equipment. Don’t add to this statistic. Here are tips to prevent HVAC fires related to heating.

  • A dirty air filter reduces airflow through the unit, which may overheat the furnace’s combustion chamber. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for regularly changing your air filter.
  • The furnace closet or enclosure should not be utilized for storage of other items. Keep any combustible materials in the vicinity at least 3 feet away from the furnace.
  • Make sure the furnace vent pipe is unobstructed by leaves, bird’s nests or other debris. A clogged vent pipe can cause the furnace to overheat dangerously, as well as allow carbon monoxide to enter the house.
  • Schedule an annual furnace checkup by a qualified HVAC service technician. The procedure includes critical checks to ensure that all safety functions of the unit are operating properly.

For more information, as well as professional service to prevent HVAC fires, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.