Home Cooling Safety Tips

Each year, there are over 7,000 reported instances of fire involving air conditioners, fans or related equipment resulting in over $200 million in property damage and in some serious cases, death. Fires, among other problems caused by air conditioning equipment, can be devastating. Take these safety tips into consideration as the weather heats up and home cooling is your priority.

Keep the space around your unit clear

Always maintain the space around your outdoor unit. Trim any bushes or trees that have grown too close to your outdoor HVAC equipment (about 3 ft. at a minimum). Be sure to keep grass clippings, leaves and other debris away from the system so it doesn’t get clogged.

Schedule AC maintenance

Now, before it gets too warm, is the best time to schedule AC maintenance. Your equipment will be cleaned and inspected in order to detect and fix problems before they occur.

Always call a professional for repairs

If your air conditioning stops working, don’t attempt to fix it yourself. If you don’t know exactly what you are doing, trying to fix your AC without a professional can not only be dangerous but can cause even further damage to the equipment, costing you more in the long run.

Don’t overuse the machine

Many air conditioning fires are caused by overuse, when the equipment is on 24 hours a day and gets overheated. When possible, turn off your unit to give it a break.

Make sure your equipment isn’t too close to a power line

Air conditioners need to be installed at least 3 ft. away from any outdoor antenna or power lines that connect to appliances, TVs, phones, radios or security systems.

Minimize the use of window units

Window units cause more than half of air conditioning related fires. If possible, minimize your use of them. If you do need to use a window unit, make sure it’s installed correctly by a professional, safely secured, on its own breaker and using its own cord, not an extension cord.

Check detectors and buy a fire extinguisher

In case of fire, be prepared. Check your smoke detectors regularly (there should be one on each floor at a minimum) to ensure they are working properly. Keep a fire extinguisher in the garage and inside your home at all times and be sure to teach all members of your family how to use it correctly.

Don’t ignore the warning signs

If you think, for any reason, that there is a problem with your air conditioner, don’t hesitate to call a professional. Pay careful attention to notice things such as strange smells, puddling, etc. to try and catch problems before they become disastrous.

Follow these safety tips to keep you and your family out of harm’s way this spring and summer!

Pest-Proofing Your HVAC Equipment and Home

While you may not think your HVAC system and pests have a lot in common, with insufficient maintenance, bugs and rodents can invade your heating and cooling equipment and even find their way into your home. Droppings and debris from these pests can clog filters, leave an unpleasant smell and reduce the quality of air in your home causing health problems for you and your family. Certain pests can even cause real damage to your HVAC equipment and your house’s structure, costing you time and money. As the weather warms up, keep these tips in mind in order to keep pests where they belong – outside!

Seal Ducts
Leaky ducts not only cause your energy bills to skyrocket, they can be the perfect entryway for pests. Inspect and seal ducts, closing any gaps, holes and cracks you can find. Consider Aeroseal, an effective and affordable professional sealing service, for optimal results.

Control Moisture
If dampness is a problem in your home or around your heating and cooling units, try to control it as best as possible. Some bugs gravitate towards damp areas or puddles and other pests rely on water to survive, making these wet spots ideal places for them to gather.

Spray Regularly
One of the best ways to keep pests out of your home and HVAC units is to spray around the perimeter of your house and heating and cooling equipment semi-annually. Oftentimes, this is something you can do on your own but if pests are particularly common in your area, you may want to consult a professional.

Schedule Maintenance
During an HVAC maintenance appointment, the technician will get a good look at what’s inside of your equipment, keeping an eye on signs of infestation. Regular maintenance also ensures your units, and the space around them, stay clean year-round.

Install Air Vent Screens
If your home has any external air vents, be sure to cover them with aluminum wire mesh. While these vents are an important part of your system, they can give pests direct access to your HVAC equipment and your home if they were improperly installed or are failing due to wear-and-tear.

These quick tips can save you a lot of time, money and frustration this season. Do you have any others tips share?