According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), an estimated 33,500 injuries were reported to hospital emergency rooms as involving air conditioners and other related appliances in 2006.
With this in mind, and in the spirit of last week’s blog on storage tank safety tips, here’s a list of air conditioner and HVAC safety tips for residential and commercial units alike.
Have your Air Conditioner Systems Inspected and Serviced Regularly
If your home or business has central air, you need to have your systems inspected and maintained regularly by trained professionals. Like anything else, AC systems are subject to routine wear and tear. Over time, function decreases and systems have a greater risk of mechanical failure and even fires if an issue is electrical in nature.
When it comes to HVAC systems, poor maintenance can also affect air quality, which can trigger asthma, allergies, and more.
Make Sure Your Condensate Pan Float Switch Is At 100%
The proper functioning of most air conditioner systems results in the slow buildup of condensed liquid, known as liquid condensate, in a specialized drain pan. These drain pans are equipped with a float switch that triggers the drain mechanism and prevents overflow when condensate levels are too high.
Improperly functioning air conditioner float switches can lead to broken AC units, dangerous electrical problems, and water damage to floors, walls, and ceilings. Have yours inspected regularly!
Take Electrical Safety Seriously
As you may have already gathered, electrical problems are a major safety concern with AC units and HVAC systems. Part of air conditioner safety is practicing general electrical safety. Consider these tips:
- Turn off circuit breakers during power outages to prevent possibly dangerous power surges when the lights come back on.
- Use surge protectors.
- If using extension cords, make sure they’re not frayed or damaged.
When In Doubt, Call a Professional
We’re just scratching the surface of AC safety. If you have a question that’s not covered here, or if something seems wrong with your AC unit or HVAC system at home or in the workplace, call a professional HVAC technician as soon as possible. It’s better to be safe than sorry!