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Common Causes of AC Fires & How to Prevent Them

Published by Luke Weiden

The vast majority of the time, your home AC operates quietly in the background keeping you cool and comfortable as outside temperatures soar. In fact, it’s almost impossible to imagine getting through a hot, muggy Chicagoland summer without it.

Unfortunately, without taking the proper precautions, our AC can become a serious fire hazard.

At Deljo Heating & Cooling we provide outstanding air conditioner repair in the Chicago Loop and surrounding areas, and of course, our highly trained technicians can replace your unit if necessary.

But the last thing we want is to replace your AC because of fire, so here are some of the common causes of AC fires and ways to prevent them.

Three common causes of AC fires

1. Flammable materials near the unit

Allowing flammable materials such as paper and leaves, as well as flammable liquids like gasoline, near your AC creates a risk of fire. Clear away the debris and keep flammable liquids as far as possible away from your AC.

2. Failing to keep your AC clean

Failing to clean your AC regularly permits dust, dirt particles and pet hair to accumulate in the air vents, filters, coils and the outside unit’s fins. This debris obstructs the proper air flow and can lead to a system malfunction and fire.

3. Faulty parts

If you’re not paying attention to how your AC is working, you might not notice the failure of crucial parts. If, for example, the AC fan fails, the unit can overheat and ignite nearby combustible materials.

Three ways to prevent AC fires

1. Avoid overuse

Running your unit constantly can lead to mechanical failures and fires. Consider installing a programmable thermostat and program the unit to run less often when most family members are away.

2. Keep your unit clean

Change the filter every 30 days or so during the hottest months, and gently wash your outside unit with a garden hose – but not with a power washer as that can damage the AC.

3. Schedule regular maintenance

Don’t wait for signs of trouble and mechanical failures. To keep your AC running faithfully and reduce the chances of fire, it’s extremely important to schedule regular professional maintenance inspections in the fall and spring. And always remember to call Deljo at 773-829-4295 for the best air conditioner repair in the Chicago Loop.