Air conditioners are designed to hold up against heavy use, and will last for years if properly maintained. Likewise, they are also designed to be safe to use, with minimal hazards associated with their operation. However, there are some things to be aware of when running your A/C, so you can avoid costly damage to your property, and endangerment to the home’s occupants.
Here are a few AC dangers to look out for.
Your air conditioner uses liquid refrigerant to absorb heat from the home and exhaust it outdoors as part of the cooling process. Without proper levels of refrigerant, your air conditioner cannot cool properly. Low refrigerant levels can actually wreck the compressor. But unlicensed persons should never handle refrigerant, which is a hazardous substance. The best way to tell if your system is low on refrigerant (which usually means you have a refrigerant leak) is to have your HVAC tech check it, and charge the system if needed. Refrigerant can irritate and burn skin and eyes, so never handle it on your own.
Your A/C is powered by electricity so includes wiring and electrical components. An untrained person should never try to fix wiring or other electrical parts on an HVAC system. If you see frayed or disconnected wiring, call an HVAC tech, rather than risk electrical shock or the chance you might start an electrical fire. Thermostat wiring should be checked during annual maintenance.
The condensate drain is designed to drain away excess moisture that condenses on the coils, as a way of keeping the relative humidity in the home lower. When the condensate drain develops a clog — which it is likely to do now and then, unless treated with bleach — the excess moisture may spill over and flood the home, damaging drywall, flooring and baseboards, or in the case of an above ground unit, walls and ceilings. All that moisture can also result in mold, which is a hazard to breathe.
For more on AC dangers, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We serve Yuma and the surrounding area.