Can a HVAC System Cause Fire at Home?

This one of the most common questions asked by homeowners. A fire outbreak is a nightmare for any homeowner. If we are to go by the statistics, then the answer to the question is definitely worrying. HVAC systems are the second leading causes of fires after cooking equipment. In 2010, it was reported that there were over 7000 fires caused by HVAC systems in the US. The fires resulted in 29 deaths, hundreds of injuries and the estimated property damage was over 200 million dollars. What’s more, over half of all the ac fires occurred during the months of June, July, and August.

HVAC systems play a critical role in maintaining the proper temperature within our homes during the changing seasons. They help ensure that our stay at home is comfortable and relaxing. However, the failure of proper maintenance and other factors turn these systems into serious fire hazards. Taking a look back, most of the fires that were caused by HVAC systems were definitely preventable.

When you fail to maintain your heating and cooling system regularly, it runs the risk of becoming faulty and eventually catching fire. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the HVAC malfunctions and issues that often lead to fire outbreaks. Learning about these issues will definitely help you take all the necessary measures in order to prevent any HVAC malfunction related fires.

Failure To Clean Your AC Unit

The accumulation of dust and dirt particles in the filters, coils, vents and other components of your air conditioner can cause it to catch fire. The accumulated debris often ends up clogging the blower motor. In normal operation, the motor usually generates heat that requires to be dispersed. However, the dust and dirt build-up acts as an insulator preventing the heat from being dispersed. This causes the motor to overheat and eventually catch fire.

Gas Leaks

If your heating system makes use of gas to heat up your home, there is always the risk of gas leakages. This might be due to your fuel lines becoming loose or damaged. These issues are often the results of poor workmanship when you hire an under-qualified technician or DIY projects. Gas leaks within your home are ticking time-bomb.

Storing Flammable Items Close To The System

One of the most preventable problems that lead to fire outbreaks is having crowded furnaces and/or air conditioning units. Materials such as paper, leaves, clothes, gasoline and other debris create a huge risk and should never be kept close to your heating and cooling equipment. When they are exposed to heat they can easily combust and cause a fire. Ensure that the space surrounding the furnace or the ac is clear of any clutter.

Chimney Build Up

The chimney is one of the most overlooked surfaces within a home. If you regularly make use of your wood-burning fireplace, then you need to have it professionally cleaned every once in a while. The burning of wood leads to the build-up of a highly flammable substance called creosote in your chimney. If the substance catches fire, the fire can easily spread to the rest of your house.