Why Your HVAC System May Be A Fire Hazard

Many people don't see heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units (HVACs) as fire hazards. However, these systems can cause fires if not properly maintained. Here are some of the possible causes of HVAC fire:

Problems with Insulation or Connections

A typical HVAC unit has many electrical parts. Examples include the condenser fan, condenser coil, unit controls, and thermostat, among others. Loose connections or damaged insulation in these parts can lead to electrical fires. For example, a loose connection increases electrical resistance, which can cause the connection to heat up and start on fire. The damage can occur due to normal wear, which means an aged unit is more hazardous than a relatively new one.

A burning plastic smell is a classic sign of overheating in any part of your HVAC system. At the first whiff of such a smell, turn off the unit and contact an HVAC technician like Lakeside Heating & A/C Inc.

Poor Air Circulation around the Furnace

The outdoor condenser/compressor unit needs proper air circulation for efficient operation. Therefore, it needs to be kept away from walls, bushes, stored crates, fences or any other thing that might impede the free flow of air. If you don't do this, then the unit may overheat and catch fire, especially after operating for a long period. The technician will install the unit a safe distance from other objects. It is your responsibility to ensure that you don't bring other objects near the unit after installation. Refer to your owner's manual for the necessary space allowances.

Leaks in the Fuel Lines

If you are using a gas-powered unit, you should also be wary of damaged fuel lines. A damaged fuel line may leak fuel, such as oil or gas, into the open. The fuel will ignite and cause a fire if it comes into contact with other hot parts of the HVAC unit.

Leaking gas isn't easy to see with your naked eye. Therefore, conducting regular maintenance service is the best way to spot damages on your HVAC's fuel lines. However, you may be able to notice obvious breakages on the line since they may produce hissing sounds, drops of fuel around the damaged area or the characteristic smell of the fuel you are using. In you notice such symptoms, turn off your unit (and other appliances that are connected to that fuel line) and call a technician.

As you can see, proper HVAC maintenance is necessary not only for its efficient operation but also for your safety. Spend a little money on maintenance and reduce the risk of HVAC fire in your home.