2 Things You Can Do To Prevent An Air Conditioner Fire

Construction & Contractors Articles

Your air conditioner is supposed to cool you off not make you hot. But if your air conditioner catches fire or starts a fire, you will most certainly end up far hotter than you were before you turned the AC on. Because it's a cooling device, many people don't associate their air conditioners with any risk of fire. However, your air conditioner is still an electrical appliance, and it can definitely be the cause of a fire if you aren't careful. Find out how you can ensure your safety and prevent air conditioner fires in your home.

Maintain Your AC Drain Line

If you aren't already, it's important to become familiar with your air conditioner's drain line. This is the line that removes condensation from your unit and funnels it outdoors. If you look at your outdoor unit when the air conditioner is on, you should be able to recognize the drain line immediately because it will be dripping. If it's not cleaned on a regular basis, the line can become clogged with algae and mold, causing the drainage pan inside the home to overflow. While in many cases this overflow leads to nothing more than a wet spot or some water damage, if the air conditioner is positioned over another appliance, like a water heater, the spilled water can cause the appliance below to short out and start a fire.

Keeping your drain line clear isn't difficult. First, turn the air conditioning unit off and shut off the power at the breaker. Locate the drainage pan, and if there is standing water in it, use a wet/dry vacuum to remove the water. You can then clean the pan out with soap and water, and dry it with a dry cloth. Next, locate the drain opening, which should be near the foundation on the outside of your house. Use your shop vacuum extension to suck the clog out of the drain line. You may need to use your hand to secure the vacuum extension to the drain opening and create suction.

Once the clog has cleared, look for a T-shaped bent with a PVC cover on the drain line — this will be your access port. Flush the port by removing the cover and pouring in distilled vinegar, peroxide, or a hot water and dish soap solution. Follow this with clean water to flush the port out completely.

Don't Let Your Air Conditioner Trip the Breaker

If your breaker shuts off when you turn the air conditioner on, don't just reset the breaker and forget about it. An air conditioner that trips the breaker — especially if it happens repeatedly — is likely using more amps than the breaker allows. The overcurrents that cause the breaker to trip in the first place can harm your equipment and cause a short that starts a fire. You need to find out why the air conditioner is pulling more power than it should and solve the problem.

Often, dirt is the problem. A dirty air conditioner has to work harder to cool your home and may end up using too much power and tripping the breaker. Check your air filter first, and change it if it's dirty. If that doesn't solve the problem, then it may be that your outdoor unit is dirty. Remove any debris that have clogged the outdoor unit and make sure that the fan inside the condenser can spin freely.

If your filter and outdoor unit are both clean and the air conditioner still trips the breaker, you may have a faulty motor or compressor, or you may have an issue with the circuit breaker itself that requires an electrician's skills to fix.

If your air conditioner seems leaky even after cleaning the drain, if your air conditioner trips the breaker even after being cleaned, or if you notice smoke or a burning scent coming from the vicinity of your air conditioning unit, shut off the power to the air conditioner and contact an air conditioner repair professional for emergency repair services. Don't let your air conditioner start a fire that damages your home or risks your safety.


10 December 2015

Exploring Contractor's Hand Tools

Welcome to my site, my name is Hugo Ciela. I'd like to talk to you about hand tools used by contractors of all kinds. Although air and power tools frequently make jobs easier, and sometimes even more enjoyable, hand tools have not lost their place in this industry. Many jobs cannot be completed without a hand tool or two due to their versatility and precision. Contractors of all types, ranging from roofers to foundation specialists, keep a plethora of hand tools in their worksite kit. I will discuss the types of hand tools you might see in those kits. I will also explore all of the different ways they can be used. Please stick around to learn more information about contractor's hand tools.