Air conditioning units are one of the most commonly used appliances across the world. In the UK, thousands of air conditioning units are sold each year for use in businesses and homes, while in America, approximately 90% of homes have an air conditioning units. Air conditioners are incredibly important in the fight against heat-related disease, too – according to the CDC, A/Cs are the number one tool for preventing heat-related disease and death. But these appliances must be used safely in order for them to be useful, so follow the safety tips below before use.
- Choose the right size air conditioning unit for your room. Generally, a room that is 10 feet by 12 feet will require an air conditioning unit that puts out 5000 Btu/per hour, while a room that is 20 by 20 feet will require an A/C that puts out 10,000 Btu/per hour. Smaller units work best in average-sized family homes in terms of both energy usage and energy conservation.
- Check the wiring within the home to make sure that the electrical circuit is suitable for use with the air conditioning unit. If you’re ever unsure, call in a professional electrician to test the circuit for you. You also need to make sure that the plug fits the socket – don’t alter the plug to fit the socket. If the plug does not fit correctly, don’t try to force it. Instead, get an electrician to replace the socket.
- Make sure that the plug reaches the plug socket and if it does not reach, consider moving the air conditioning unit to a different place or use an extension cord specifically designed for use with an A/C. Stretching the cord could cause outages while using a non-approved extension cord could well increase the risk of fires within the home. Before you use extension cords, be sure that they are not damaged.
- Regularly check the unit and filters and clean or replace the filters as needed. Clogged filters mean that the air conditioning unit will not work as efficiently as needed and you’ll use more energy. Clogged filters could also cause the machine to overheat.
- Get a maintenance check every year from a qualified electrician. Get them to check over all of the ins and outs of the machine – the outer casing, inner casing, wiring, ducts, filters and more. If there are any issues with any parts of the machine, get them replaced and note down the date of the replacement and the name of the contractor so that you can contact them again if there are any issues.
- Never, ever run a cord or extension cord underneath the carpet. This drastically increases the risk of a fire, as the heat from the cord gets trapped underneath the carpet fibres. Run cords across the top of carpets or hardwood floors and check them for signs of damage before use.
By Richard Rhodes.
For more information on keeping safe while using your air conditioning unit and to look at a range of A/C units for all uses, take a look at Andrews Air Conditioning Services.