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Homeowner’s Guide to AC Dangers

AC dangersAn air conditioner is a safe, well-designed piece of equipment that, if properly installed, maintained and used, should give you years of comfort with few problems. There are some pitfalls involved with neglected maintenance, poor installation practices and improper use. Here’s a brief primer on certain AC dangers to watch out for.

Electrical Fires

Although the gas-powered furnace section of your HVAC system is more of a concern for fires than the air conditioner, it still pays to be vigilant about wiring and electronic parts and sensors. With today’s more sophisticated equipment, it’s important to only allow a trained HVAC tech to work on your equipment. You might also need an electrician if a problem involves wiring. Be on guard for frayed or loose wiring and have it replaced or reconnected right away.


Your air conditioner uses refrigerant to absorb heat in the home and then exhausts it outdoors. When a refrigerant leak develops, the levels must be restored for the A/C to cool. Only licensed professionals should handle refrigerant as it can cause irritation when breathed and frostbite to the skin or eyes. It is also a hazardous substance and must be disposed of properly.

Dirty Air Filter

How on earth can a dirty air filter create hazards? One way is to slow down your air flow so the A/C can’t cool properly, eventually resulting in compressor damage. Dirty air filters also prevent your A/C from dehumidifying the home properly, so that mold may grow, and also won’t trap airborne pollutants properly, so that you’re breathing polluted air.

Clogged Condensate Drain

Your A/C’s condensate drain is the channel through which condensed humidity is drained away from the home. If it isn’t cleaned out with bleach now and then, the line can become clogged with sludge, and the moisture can’t drain away. Conditions in your HVAC closet, as well as the walls and flooring around it, may become damper to the point where flooding and damage occurs.

For more on AC dangers, contact Beyer Boys. We provide repairs, maintenance and installations in the San Antonio area.