Did you know that your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems pose a fire hazard to your building? It is possible for your air conditioning system catch on fire. Therefore to prevent damage and injury, it is important to be aware of HVAC fire hazards. Though the chances of a fire are low, the following factors have been known to pose a fire hazard and should be monitored to ensure safety.
HVAC Fire Hazards
Bad electrical connections are one of the main causes of HVAC failure and fires. Old connections tend to become loose and with the constant high demand for power, burnt and exposed wires can trigger a fire. The smell of smoke or burning plastic is a giveaway.
Leaking fuel line
Without performing regular maintenance, it is difficult to spot leaking fuel lines. What makes this especially hazardous is the fact that a highly flammable substance – such as oil, gas, and petroleum – is coming into contact with hot elements inside the A/C unit. The combination of heat and flammable material increases the chance of a dangerous fire.
Faulty gas connections
High gas pressure causes the heat exchanger to heat up. Low gas pressure can cause condensation. Both increase of risk of damage and fires. Poor workmanship or years of neglect can lead to gas leaks and bad air quality, not to mention the potential for an out of control gas furnace.
This is a relatively easy problem to prevent. Stuffing creates, boxes, cleaning equipment, and a host of other materials on or near your HVAC system increases the danger of damaging the unit and causing a fire. All that junk around the unit could catch fire, damaging not just the A/C system, but a large portion of the building. To prevent this, ensure that all nonessential equipment is kept away from the unit. Clean chemicals that may react to heat or catch fire as well.
What to do in case of a fire
The first thing to do in case of a fire is to exit the building and call for help. If possible, turn off the main power switch to the unit and the building. Alert everyone in or around the area and ensure that unsuspecting visitors do not enter the building.
How to avoid HVAC fire hazards
While it is possible for HVAC systems to catch fire randomly, HVAC experts insist on regular maintenance as the best way to prevent instances of damage, leakage, or circuitry problems. Fire prevention does not begin and end with authorized inspections. If you are going to ensure the safety of everybody using the system, it is recommended that you play an active role in promoting safety. If you suspect there might be an issue with your HVAC system, or you smell burning wires, oil, gas, or any other suspicious material, contact a Altemp Mechanical immediately for an inspection.