Air conditioning season is here and it’s important to be sure your equipment is in good working order. It’s also important to know your limits to prevent electric shocks, fires, and other disasters caused by improperly servicing your cooling appliances.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that 15% of product-related electrocutions occur when someone is attempting to repair a large appliance. Air conditioners, fans, dehumidifiers and other air conditioning equipment account for an estimated 33,000-plus emergency room visits annually. And while most of those injuries were cuts, scrapes and sprains, air conditioners and fans cause around 16 electrocution deaths a year.
Add to that roughly 11,000 air conditioner and fan related fires causing $200 million in damage each year, and you can see how important it is to keep your equipment in good condition and only trust their repair and maintenance to qualified persons.
Cooling Equipment Do’s and Don’ts
Keep yourself, your family, and your property safe by following these simple suggestions:
• Choose appliances with safety in mind
Appliances that overload circuits or require extension cords are both safety and fire hazards, as are any that don’t carry an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or other accredited safety rating label
• Have hardwired appliances installed by a professional
Only experienced installers should connect appliances that don’t plug into an outlet
• Use portable appliances safely
Keep fans, room coolers, and other portable appliances where they won’t create tipping or tripping hazards. Don’t overlook places where pets can reach. And never use fans or other electrical devices near water or in damp areas.
• Have your air conditioner checked by a pro
Central air conditioners should be inspected and serviced annually by persons trained to do so. Smaller appliances can be cleaned and tested by homeowners, but any electrical or mechanical repairs should be left to professionals.
• Use indoor appliances outdoors or anywhere around water
• Use appliances with damaged cords or that don’t work properly
• Put fans or other appliances where they present hazards to children and pets(or adults, either)
• Try to repair damaged appliances yourself unless you’re familiar with how to do it safely
When in Doubt, Call a Pro
Working on appliances, wiring, switches, and outlets safely requires a knowledge of electrical circuitry and codes, so don’t risk injury, shock, fire hazards, or expensive repairs by ignoring warning signs or getting in over your head. If you have any problems or concerns about your electrical equipment, the pros at Allstar Electrical Services are ready to solve them for you. We offer homeowners, builders, and businesses reliable, professional electrical work that is safe and up to code.