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Can Your HVAC System Catch Fire?

Several of our customers wonder whether or not an air conditioner or furnace can catch on fire. It may seem silly to some, but it’s actually a very good question for an HVAC professional. Whether your HVAC unit is pumping your home full of cold air in the summertime, or keeping your family cozy while temperatures drop outside, there are fire hazards you should be aware of. We’ve listed some common hazards below, and what you should do if you think your unit is at risk of catching fire.  

Electrical Issues

When it comes to HVAC fire hazards, electrical problems are among the top offenders. Old, loose connections can lead to burnt wires. This can easily cause a fire, and put you and your loved ones at risk. If you notice a burning “plastic” smell or see smoke, you should contact a professional to check out your electrical connections immediately. If you notice a fire, exit the building and call for help.

A Crowded Furnace

Your furnace is probably located somewhere out of the way, such as an attic, closet or garage. A lot of people don’t realize that piling boxes, seasonal clothing, holiday decor or other storage items around your furnace is dangerous. If the unit gets too hot, the items stored around it could catch fire. Make sure to keep the area around your furnace clear at all times.

Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

You cannot see carbon monoxide, it is colorless and it has no odor, but it is deadly if inhaled. Breathing it in can immediately cause symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning such as nausea, blurred vision and dizziness. Carbon monoxide exposure is particularly dangerous for unborn babies, infants and the elderly.  It’s incredibly important to have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home in addition to your smoke detectors for the safety of yourself and your family. At Middleton, we also check for carbon monoxide during your fall maintenance visits.

We’re here to keep you and your family safe from HVAC-related fires and complications. If you notice any troubling signs, or think your unit may be at risk of catching fire, give us a call at 1-800-404-0371. You can also visit us online for more information about the Middleton team. 

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