Dirty and Contaminated air conditioners can cause air conditioning units to catch alight. Fire is highly dangerous as it puts lives at risk and creates serious damage. According to 7 news, recently “a man had burns to his feet after rescuing his children from the second storey of a flaming Melbourne house. The father-of-three ran upstairs to fetch two of his children from the fire that started when a rooftop air-conditioner caught alight. The blaze started at about 3.30am on Thursday, 16 March and was contained to the upper level of the home. The damage caused by the faulty aircon unit is estimated at $100,000.”
Monitor the use and condition of unitsIn colder cities after winter has passed, water pumps can corrode and seize up when you use them causing a rapid fire. In restaurants, bakeries, large office blocks, malls and other ducted air conditioning spaces, if a fire breaks out, the fan is pushing that fire down through the ducts into every room, causing it to spread very quickly. Another way that aircon’s can cause blazing fires is from leaking air handlers. These cause nearby electrical equipment to short circuit. If electrical equipment is located underneath aircon’s, condensation can drip on it. This causes it to short circuit and creates sparks that can easily ignite nearby materials. Unmaintained drain lines can also be a hazard when they become clogged and drainage pans overflow damaging property.
How to reduce fire hazard
- Clean/change your filters: reduce the risk of dust builds up, smelling units, fire etc. Clean/change air con filters regularly.
- Examine electric-powered equipment: Regularly inspect air conditioning cords for cracks, loose connections, or broken plugs, and replace any damaged equipment.
- Reduce dust: Cleaning air ducts is the easiest, most effective way to remove dust build up. It also prevents potential hazards from forming. Be aware, that improperly cleaned air ducts may actually cause more loose dust to circulate, creating more of a hazard.
- Maintain your AC units: All mechanical and electrical equipment needs regular proper maintenance. Have your AC system maintained by a professional at least once a year or sooner. This depends on the level of contamination from dust, mould, bacteria, insects and rodents.
- Monitor exterior unit: Make sure that leaves, dirt, debris and insects haven’t clogged your exterior unit.