Is Your Home's HVAC System A Potential Fire Hazard?

Posted on: 18 August 2017

While an HVAC system is not typically thought of as being a potential fire hazard, there is the risk of a fire occurring if the system isn't maintained. Here are 3 reasons why your home's HVAC system could be at risk of causing a fire.

Connection and Wire Insulation Problems

Your HVAC system has several components that use electricity. The fan, thermostat, and condenser coils all have some sort of connection that could be problematic. For instance, a loose connection or damaged wire insulation can be responsible for causing an electrical fire. It is a problem, that can happen from normal wear and tear, causing an older unit to be more prone to damage than a new unit.

Be aware of the smell of burning plastic. This means that overheating is occurring to the electrical wiring and the wire shielding is actually burning up. Turn off your HVAC system immediately and contact a professional to repair the problem.

Air Circulation Problems

The condenser located outside your home should be free and clear of any objects or debris. You'll need to trim bushes, move stored items, and keep the air free flowing around the unit. The risk of blocking the ventilation around the condenser is overheating. If the unit runs for a long period of time, there is a risk of the condenser catching on fire due to the heat.

Part of a professional installation will ensure that the unit is placed properly so that there is plenty of ventilation. However, it is the lack of awareness from a homeowner that often causes problems. Be aware of what is surrounding your condenser and keep the area clear.

Fuel Line Problems

All gas-powered furnaces will have a fuel line that gets gas to the unit. This line is at risk of becoming damaged over the years, which can cause the gas to accidentally leak out. The potential fire can occur if the gas ignites after being exposed to a hot part of your HVAC system.

You will not be able to see a gas leak, but you will often smell it in the form of rotten eggs. It may be possible to hear a gas leak because of a hiss that is produced by the gas escaping through a hole in the fuel line. Shutting down the HVAC system may not be enough to protect yourself, since gas can be ignited from other appliances in your home. Leave your home immediately at the first sign of a gas leak and call for assistance. Contact a service, like Dalton Heating & Air Conditioning, for more help.