Indoor Air Quality Solutions

Indoor Air Quality Solutions

Indoor Air Quality Solutions

When it comes to indoor air quality, we’re sure you’d go out of your way to keep your family safe and inhaling clean air. These easy remedies will bring more fresh air into your home, enhance your indoor air quality, and help you get rid of those annoying household pollutants. If you’re seeking for practical advice that you can put to use right now, this article is for you. Below, our Sacramento HVAC Company shares indoor air quality solutions. 

How can I improve indoor air quality?

When it comes to good indoor air quality, many homes fall short. As your Sacramento heating company, we are here to share how you can implement indoor air quality solutions to your home. 

Indoor Air Quality Solutions

Add Indoor Plants

The advantages of having houseplants cannot be emphasized. Houseplants purify the air. As follows, they breathe in carbon dioxide and expel oxygen. People and animals breathe in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. Thus, by introducing plants into your house, you’re establishing a symbiotic partnership that filters the air. Also, it produces new oxygen, and beautifies your surroundings.

Keep the Windows Cracked and the Floors Clean

Your house does not breathe properly, especially if it is modern. It constantly re-circulates the same air. This can be a serious issue for indoor air quality. Our Sacramento HVAC Company explains that you are allowing fresh air into your home by cracking the windows.

Cleaning the floors, mopping, vacuuming, and using doormats all help to eliminate particles that will ultimately wind up in the air.

Add a UV Lamp Filtration System

Additionally, ensure that your furnace includes a filtration system with UV lamps. UV lamps are effective in killing microbial, bacterial, and mold spores. A furnace with a UV light filtering technology cleans your air up to 90% better, significantly improving your indoor air quality.

Get Your Annual Furnace Inspection

Check to see whether your furnace has been serviced. If your furnace isn’t operating properly, it won’t be able to clean your air as well. It may also create further maintenance issues or even cause the machine to cease operating entirely. It is important to get your furnace serviced on a regular basis. For the best Sacramento furnace tune-up regimen for your unit, contact Gilmore.

Regularly Change Filters

Your HVAC system’s air filter is the first line of defense against poor indoor air quality. A typical central heating and cooling system moves around 1,000 cubic feet of air every minute through the filter. This implies that the full volume of air in your home gets filtered numerous times each day.

A clean filter effectively eliminates airborne particulates ranging from dust to minuscule particles that are undetectable to the naked eye. A dirty filter, on the other hand, can degrade indoor air quality by acting as a reservoir for dirt, dust, and other airborne pollutants that are constantly cycled back into your breathing air.

Change the air filter on a monthly basis during both the heating and cooling seasons. Instead of inexpensive, disposable fiberglass panel filters, choose for pleated fabric filters certified to catch airborne particles as small as 3 microns.

When your air filter becomes clogged, your air handler has to work harder to compensate for the reduced airflow. In addition to increasing your power cost, less circulation through your heating and cooling system might cause your heat exchanger to overheat and shut down prematurely.

How Does My Air Filter Impact My Indoor Air Quality?

Clogs contribute to polluted air “When your air filter becomes clogged, all of the dust and debris that should be filtered out gets re-circulated back into your home. This can result in persistent allergies and is especially risky for persons who have asthma or other respiratory disorders.

If you have pets or have a lot of chemicals around the house, a blocked filter will make the indoor air quality much worse. You may barely notice a sneeze here and then, but poor indoor air quality will have a significant detrimental influence on your health over time.”

Changing your HVAC air filter might help you avoid major problems.

Vacuum Regularly

Weekly cleaning and vacuuming can greatly reduce the dangerous allergens, dust, and mites that poison your house and lungs, according to studies.

Get a Humidifier

To maintain a healthy humidity level, use a dehumidifier or your air conditioner. The most crucial plan of action is to ensure that your house is too dry for the mites to live. Maintain a humidity level of 40 to 50 percent and avoid living in basements if you are allergic to mites. Basements are notoriously difficult to keep dry.

Install a Whole-House Air Purification System

The air in your house is crucial for more than just comfort; it is also necessary for survival. For individuals with asthma and severe allergic responses to allergens, you know what I’m talking about.

It can get complicated. It’s difficult to strike the right balance. Air purifiers are recommended because they may eliminate airborne pollutants and allergies.

At Gilmore, we understand that indoor home air quality has never been more important for the health and safety of our families. With the Reme Halo Air Purifier, you can give your family the peace of mind they deserve by providing them with unrivaled indoor air quality.

Request Service

How Can We Serve You?

We are so glad you’re here! Complete the form below to get in touch, claim your coupon, or simply join our email list. 

Sacramento HVAC Tips

Sacramento HVAC Tips

Sacramento HVAC Tips

When you’re entertaining, you welcome guests into your house for family dinners, football games, and overnight stays. As a good host, you must make sure they will be comfortable when visiting. Today on the blog, we share Sacramento HVAC Tips for the holidays.

Sacramento HVAC Tips to Get You Through The Holidays

Entertaining for the holidays? It’s important to make sure that your home and HVAC system are ready for your guests. Our Sacramento Heating company shares some tips to get your home ready for entertaining.

Examine HVAC Filters

Improve the quality of your interior air for your guests, particularly those who have allergies or asthma. A clogged air filter has a more difficult time eliminating pollutants from your home’s indoor air (contaminants like dust mites, mold, pet dander, dead skin, allergens, viruses and more). Additionally, our Sacramento furnace replacement specialists share that this also inhibits airflow, causing the entire HVAC system to work harder and less effectively. It is advisable to clean or replace your air filter every 30-90 days, depending on the type of air filter you use and how frequently your system operates.

Clean Your Home

This may sound apparent, but cleaning your house is about more than simply making it look neat to visitors. It is also about enhancing the quality of your interior air for your visitors. We carry allergies into our homes in a variety of ways, including the soles of our shoes, our clothes, the hair of our dogs, our children, and our coats, to mention a few. Dusting, vacuuming, cleaning, and washing laundry will help to remove as many allergens as possible. Furthermore, using natural or fragrance-free cleaning solutions is ideal for your home’s indoor air quality.

Reduce the temperature on your thermostat.

With company in the house and the oven cooking great meals for everyone, your house will undoubtedly heat up. Anticipate this and adjust the thermostat down a few degrees to make it more pleasant for your visitors inside. You can arrange this temperature adjustment if you have a programmable thermostat. Also, warm blankets should be available for visitors who may become cold if the temperature is reduced.

Repair any air leaks.

Additionally, our Sacramento furnace repair experts explain that you should examine your home’s windows and doors for drafts. Caulking and weatherstripping are easy, efficient DIY options for sealing things off, which not only improves the performance of your HVAC system but also decreases your energy expenditure. More advice on how to plug air leaks may be found here.

Schedule Sacramento Furnace Tune-Up

You don’t want a problem with your HVAC system when you have friends around for the holidays! Even if everything is in working order, this type of preventative maintenance is essential for the life of your HVAC system, addressing any problems before they become costly repairs or replacements.
We recommend having a professional inspect your HVAC system twice a year (in the spring before using the air conditioner for the first time and in the fall before using the furnace for the first time). During a maintenance appointment, our NATE-certified specialists check that your HVAC system is in good working order. The technician is going to:

  • Examine the unit and its wiring; clean and lubricate all unit components as necessary.
  • Examine the gasoline line and the fuel levels.
  • Calibrate the pressure in the fuel line and test the pilot light.
  • Clean the whole fuel line and pilot light system.
  • Calibrate the unit to ensure that it offers dependable and effective service.sacramento heating replacement

 

Get Any Plumbing Repairs Out of the Way

You need peace of mind before your holiday visitors come. In addition to ensuring that your HVAC System is running smoothly, you should also check your plumbing systems. Tureks Plumbing, Appleton WI Plumbers, share that it is always good to get an annual plumbing inspection around the holidays.

Get Holiday Ready With Gilmore Today

Ensure that your HVAC system is operational so that they are comfortable during their stay. Contact us today for additional information or to set up an appointment for Sacramento HVAC maintenance.

Request Service

How Can We Serve You?

We are so glad you’re here! Complete the form below to get in touch, claim your coupon, or simply join our email list. 

Drought Proofing Tips

Drought Proofing Tips

As a homeowner in Sacramento, CA, it can be very expensive. Drought, in addition to its environmental implications, can result in increased water bills. Today on the blog, our Sacramento HVAC Company shares are several things you can do to prepare your house for a drought, economically.

Your Guide to Drought Proofing Your Home

drought proofing tips

Saving money where you can is essential in California. When our state is in a drought, it is essential to use your water wisely. Here are five drought proofing tips to help you save money and water.

Use Water Wisely

In our houses, we use water for so many things. From running the dishwasher to flushing the toilet, water is constantly running. Our Sacramento HVAC Company explains that you may save both water and money by being clever and careful in your household activities. 

Our Plumbing Contractor Sacramento explains that families should open up the conversations with each member about saving water.  Turning off the water when brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face will make a difference over time.

Additionally, our Sacramento Plumbing Company recommends making sure your appliances are completely full before running them. For example, we recommend running larger amounts of laundry once a week rather than multiple small loads. Additionally, try to run your dishwasher only when it is completely full. 
As a result, you will make the most of your water by just running full loads.

Use Low-Flow Water Fixtures

Our friends over at Tureks Plumbing, Fox Valley Plumbing Contractor, highly recommend to their customers to install low-flow water fixtures. This includes low-flow faucets, shower heads, and toilets. As follows, this is regarded as one of the simplest methods to save water. If you haven’t switched to low-flow yet, contact Gilmore today. These units are intended to save money and the environment. It’s a win-win! 

Look for Leaks

Leaking pipes, plumbing fixtures, or appliances waste money and water while putting your house in danger of further damage. All of your plumbing systems, including your showers, sinks, and faucets, are prone to leaking. Flapper problems with a running toilet might cause water to drain even when the toilet is not in use. 

Install a Recirculating Pump

When you need hot water, whether, for a shower, cleaning, or cooking, it is common to have to run the water for a time before it becomes hot. This method wastes time, money, and water. Thus, a recirculation pump is an answer for instant hot water. This solution can save you thousands of gallons of water per year while providing immediate warm water. 

Contact Gilmore Today for Plumbing Solutions

Ready to take the leap to save some water for the remainder of the summer? Our team at Gilmore would love to assist you. Give us a call today or reach out to us on Facebook.

Request Service

How Can We Serve You?

We are so glad you’re here! Complete the form below to get in touch, claim your coupon, or simply join our email list. 

Do You Need Duct Cleaning?

 

Every home is different, so it is typically hard to generalize whether a home needs duct cleaning or not. However, there are ways to determine if duct cleaning would be beneficial for you and your family.

You May Not Need Duct Cleaning if:

  • No one in your household suffers from allergies or unexplained symptoms or illnesses
  • After a visual inspection of the inside of the ducts, you see no indication that your air ducts are contaminated with large deposits of dust or mold (no musty odor or visible mold growth)

It is normal for the return registers to get dusty as air is pulled through the grate. This does not indicate that your air ducts are contaminated with heavy deposits of dust or debris; the registers can be easily vacuumed or removed and cleaned.

You May Need Duct Cleaning if:

  • Family members experience unusual or unexplained symptoms or illnesses that you think might be related to your home environment; you should discuss the situation with your doctor.
  • There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system.

Here are important points to understand about mold detection in heating and cooling systems:

  • Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists.
  • Although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation. For about $50, some microbiology laboratories can tell you whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that resembles it.
  • If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy, it can’t be effectively cleaned. Remove and replace it.
  • If the conditions causing the mold are not corrected, it will recur.
  • Ducts are infested with vermin, e.g. (rodents or insects)
  • Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are actually released into the home from your supply registers.

Note: EPA has published Indoor Air Quality: An Introduction for Health Professionals that can be obtained free of charge by contacting IAQ INFO at the number listed in this guide. You may obtain another free EPA booklet from IAQ INFO entitled The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality for guidance on identifying possible indoor air quality problems and ways to prevent or fix them.

We Offer Professional Duct Cleaning

If you think duct cleaning might be a good idea for your home, but you are not sure, talk to a Gilmore professional. We’ll help make sure you get the thorough service that you need.

Freon (R-22) Ban and How It Affects Your Air Conditioner

Until a few years ago, many air conditioners sold in the United States used the refrigerant chlorodifluoromethane, usually referred to “R-22.” R-22 is one of a number of gases marketed under the brand name Freon, and has been commonly used as a coolant in air conditioners, heat pumps, and other appliances.

R-22 is an extremely effective coolant, which made it popular among HVAC manufacturers for many years. However, it was discovered that its causes damage to the ozone layer, and that it is also a powerful greenhouse gas. This is why, in 1987, the United States agreed to an international accord that would call for the reduction of HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) production, beginning in 2004. R-22 is one of the products affected by this agreement.

 

Obtaining R-22 for air conditioner servicing is extremely costly, and will soon become impossible.

Enforced reduction of the use of R-22 began in 2004, and in 2010 its use was banned in new HVAC systems. However, R-22 has continued to be produced since then in order to service existing air conditioners. Soon, this will no longer be the case.

In 2015, the next step in the R-22 phaseout plan was triggered, further reducing the permitted production and import of R-22. As a consequence, prices have quadrupled. This will only get worse, as the EPA’s final phasedown schedule for R-22 indicates that production and import of the coolant will be completely banned as of 2020.

For homeowners whose air conditioners and heat pumps use R-22, this raises the question, “What are my choices?” These options can be broken down as follows:

Hold off on HVAC replacement or upgrade for a few years.

You can simply wait for a few years. However, if your cooling system requires replacement of its R-22 supply in the meantime, it may cost you dearly. We currently charge more than $600 to fully recharge an air conditioner with R-22 (plus the cost of removing contaminants from the system), and full expect this cost to rise in the future. In a few years, it may cost thousands of dollars.

Upgrade your system to use a modern coolant.

The EPA has approved several new coolants, the most popular of which is R-410A, commonly marked under the brand name Puron. However, you can’t just pour R-410A into a cooling system that uses R-22. Some of the system’s parts will have to be replaced. In addition, while your system can be adapted to work with R-410A, you likely won’t see the same level of performance as before, resulting in higher energy bills.

Replace your HVAC system with a new EPA-friendly system.

The most advisable option is to simply replace your existing air conditioner or heat pump with a new system that is designed to use R-410A, or other permitted coolants. While this is the most costly option in the short term, the simple fact is that the other two options may well cost you more in the long run, and then you’ll have to replace your system anyways!

This is why Gilmore strongly advises that you replace your air conditioner or heat pump now. Replacing your system eliminates the risk of having to pay a fortune for R-22 replacement in a few years, or paying higher energy bills for the next several years due to reduced performance.

It really is the best time to replace your HVAC system, and as a bonus, you will immediately begin to enjoy savings on your energy bill! If you’d like to learn more about how replacing your air conditioner or heat pump can save you money, call the experts at Gilmore Heating & Air!

Save $250 Off of a New Air Conditioner!

Avoid future price hikes for replacing the R-22 in your old air conditioner by upgrading your system today! Click on the image below for an easy-to-print coupon entitling you to $250 off of a new A/C system from Gilmore Heating & Air, or click on this link for a PDF with a summary of the above information, and a copy of our coupon. But don’t wait too long, this offer expires at the end of 2016!

 

California Cities Have Chromium 6 Levels Above The State-Mandated Maximum

More than 20 years ago, a legal clerk by the name of Erin Brockovich was organizing medical records for a pro bono real estate case her employer was handling, when she started wondering why the medical records were there in the first place. Three years later, her curiosity culminated in a $333 million settlement with PG&E, to compensate the residents of Hinkley, California for exposing them to a toxic chemical: hexavalent chromium, better known as chromium 6.

Chromium 6 exposure in drinking water is known to cause cancer.

Chromium 6 is present in the environment both through natural process and artificial manufacturing. It is currently used in a number of industrial processes, such as the manufacture and finishing of stainless steel and chrome plating, and is also used as an anticorrosion agent in cooling towers (which was the source of the Hinkley contamination in the 1980s).

Chromium 6 is a carcinogen, which means that it causes cancer. Most incidental exposures of chromium 6 involve drinking water contaminated with the chemical. This form of exposure results in cancers of the mouth and intestine.  However, chromium 6 can also be inhaled, which can result in respiratory cancers, such as lung cancer. Despite these health effects, there is no federal legal limit for exposure to chromium 6, and California is the only state in the country with such a limitation.

While the story of Hinkley is now several decades old, chromium 6 exposure—recognized by the state of California to cause reproductive harm as well as cancer—is still a cause of concern.

A national study found that two local Central California cities have drinking water with chromium 6 levels above the legal limit.

In September of 2016, KQED reported that an analysis of more than 60,000 sources of tap water across the country showed that two Central California towns, Davis and Woodland, have levels of chromium in their drinking water that exceed the state limit of 10 parts per billion.

The state limit of 10 parts per billion is believed to result in an exposure level that will cause cancer in 500 out of every 1 million people who drink contaminated water every day over a period of 70 years. The tests showed that drinking water sampled at the University of California, Davis, had chromium 6 levels of 16.25 parts per billion, while Woodland had slightly higher levels, 16.79. These levels are more than 60% higher than the state mandated exposure level.

In addition, the study—conducted by watchdog organization Environmental Working Group—showed that two-thirds of American consumers have drinking water with contamination levels exceeding what state experts believe is the safe level of exposure.

While the projected health risks of chromium 6 exposure may seem minor or remote, the true health consequences of chromium 6 are unclear, especially in children, the elderly, and others who are particularly sensitive to environmental hazards.

So how can you protect your family from chromium 6 exposure?

A water filtration system can filter out harmful chromium 6, as well as other unwanted contaminants.

Don’t waste money and clutter up the environment by buying case after case of bottled water, or put your trust in cheap, consumer grade kitchen faucet filters. Besides, at best these measures only protect you from the water you drink—not the water you bathe in, brush your teeth with, or wash your clothes in.

A professional grade home water filtration system installed by the experts at Gilmore can protect your family from all in-home chromium 6 exposure. In addition, you will be protected from other potential contaminants, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and unknown hazardous chemicals.

We have decades of experience in choosing the right filtration system for the job, and properly installing it so that your system operates at peak performance. We believe that your family deserves to feel safe, especially in your own home, and we will do everything we can to provide you with the safe, healthy water that you deserve.

You Shouldn’t Be Heating Your Home With a Space Heater

Space heaters are a handy way of staying warm in areas where it isn’t possible to take advantage of central heating. However, many households try to use space heaters in their homes as an alternative to central heating. Their reasons for doing so may include:

  • Furnace isn’t working or is working poorly.
  • Trying to minimize gas bill.
  • Heating rooms that aren’t connected to central heating.
  • Home uses old-style wall furnace, and far-away rooms have to be warmed with a space heater.

Regardless of the motivation, space heaters simply aren’t a long-term solution for home heating needs.

Space heaters are extremely dangerous. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that between 2009 and 2013, heating equipment caused more than 56,000 home fires in the United States. Space heaters were the cause of 40% of these fires, and caused 5 out of 6 (84%) of the deaths resulting from all house fires caused by heating equipment.

Part of the problem is that we have become overly comfortable with space heaters. We see them in the workplace, at store checkout counters that are close to an open door, in cabins and tents, and so on. As a result, we place space heaters without much regard for what’s around them.

As a consequence, the leading factor in fatal home fires is too little space between heating equipment and flammable materials, such as mattresses, bedding, clothing, and furniture. Many of these accidents may have been the result of children or pets knocking over heaters or setting down flammable items nearby.

It’s very difficult to make a space heater “safe.” They’re easily tampered with by children, their size makes them difficult to secure, and they usually have scalding hot surfaces, or white-hot elements just inches behind a guard.

We can help. Call Gilmore for a home central heating solution, and get rid of your space heater.

49% of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February. NOW is the time to do something about your unsafe space heater. We can install a central heating system in your home faster than anyone else, and we’ll do it right the first time.

Call Gilmore, and find out what makes us the best heating and air company around.

Fix Your Home AC Now – Sacramento is Facing Record Heat This Week

If you live in the California Central Valley, it’s a good idea to follow the US National Service’s Sacramento Facebook page or follow them on Twitter. They post on a daily basis, warning of any worrisome weather on the horizon and answering any questions that the public may have. This service is especially important now, as we move into the summer and our region’s hot summer weather really begins to take effect.

Based upon the latest weather forecasts, if you are experiencing any kind of issues with your air conditioner, it is imperative to contact Gilmore Heating & Air and schedule an appointment now.

California is facing conditions in which it is dangerous to not have access to air conditioning.

On Thursday June 15th, the NWS issued a Heat Advisory for much of the Central Valley. Under this forecast, the NWS warned of dangerously hot conditions for the California Central Valley from Redding down through Sacramento, and south to Merced, as seen below.

 

According to KCRA News, this has now been elevated to an “Excessive Heat Warning,” which warns of even more dangerous conditions in which temperatures will be well in excess of 100 degrees, and may reach 110 degrees in some areas.

The Excessive Heat Warning is currently in effect for the following areas:

  • Sacramento Valley
  • Carquinez Strait and Delta
  • Northern San Joaquin Valley
  • Redding
  • Red Bluff
  • Chico
  • Oroville
  • Marysville and Yuba City
  • Fairfield and Suisun
  • Stockton
  • Modesto

While the Excessive Heat Warning extends through Tuesday as of the writing of this post, it is likely that it will soon be extended through Thursday.

In an earlier Facebook post on June 16th, the NWS warned that temperature records for days between Saturday June 17th through June 21st (and possibly beyond) are in danger of being toppled in the regions surrounding Sacramento, Redding, Stockton, and Blue Canyon (Roseville/Rocklin).

 

In much of the Central Valley, the temperature will likely remain in excess of 100 degrees until Thursday, with temperatures dropping off into the mid- to high-90s through the weekend and much of the following week.

Under these conditions, it is extremely important for you to stay hydrated and stay indoors as much as possible. However, staying indoors is only effective if you have an effective air conditioner. Even if your air conditioner is working, if it has been struggling to keep up with current temperatures, it will likely fail under the extreme stress of the upcoming weather conditions.

This is likely to be an extremely hot summer for Sacramento and the rest of Northern California, and this is only the first of many heat waves that we’ll face. Please don’t wait until the last minute. Call Gilmore Heating & Air at 888-868-2316, or send us an appoint request through our website and get your air conditioner serviced now, so that your family will be safe and comfortable throughout this year’s scorching hot summer.

Dangers of Window-Mounted Air Conditioners

Recently, the ABC program Good Morning America did a story describing the fire risks posed by air conditioners. According to a National Fire Protection Association study quoted by the piece, air conditioners are the cause of roughly 2,800 home fires per year.

While the “Air Conditioner Dangers” piece is definitely worth a watch, it’s also worthwhile to spend some time digging into the report as well.

The NFPA data indicates that window-mounted air conditioners pose an outsized risk.

The NFPA website features a page specifically on the fire risks of air conditioners, with a link to a detailed 2012 study. In the study, the authors point out that, “Room air conditioners appear to have a higher fire risk relative to usage than central air conditioning, but reported fire incident data no longer separate the two.”

They go on to say that while the ratio of households using room air conditioners versus central ACs is 1-to-3 (i.e. 25% of homes use room air conditioners), the ratio of all room AC- versus central AC-related fires is 3-to-5 (i.e. 37.5% of fires are caused by window AC units).

Adjusting for the relative frequency of these two types of ACs—to look at how many fires would be expected in equal numbers of window units and central units—indicates that window-mounted AC units are 1.8 times more likely than central ACs to cause a house fire.

This increased fire risk with window AC units is likely due to poor installation and usage practices.

Elsewhere in the study, it mentions that 38% of AC fires originated with the ignition of an electrical wire, or the insulation covering such wires. Likely culprits, as mentioned in the Good Morning America video, are:

  • Window unit electrical cables
  • Extension cords used to power window units
  • Home electrical wiring overtaxed due to a window unit being plugged into a power strip or plug splitter

It is especially imperative to consider this information now, as July and August account for 20% and 18% of all air conditioning-related fires for the entire year. In other words, we’re just starting the two month period in which nearly 40% of all AC-related house fires start.

How you can minimize the fire risk of your air conditioner.

For starters, if you use a window unit, make sure that the power cable is in good condition, with no nicks, tears, or signs of overheating.

If you can at all help it, do not plug it into an extension cord or power strip—plug it directly into a wall outlet. If you must use an extension cord, use a 12 or 14 gauge cord that is as short as possible, and which is indicated specifically for use with window ACs. Make sure that the draw of your window AC doesn’t exceed the cord’s rating (for example, the product overview of the linked cord indicates that it has a 15 amp, 1,875 watt maximum capacity—it would be unsafe to use with an AC over that rating).

Lastly, make sure that you clean your air conditioner’s filter regularly, and ensure that the intake and exhaust are unobstructed, with at least 3 feet of clearance. If you see any sign of electrical failure or improper operation, cease using your unit until you can have it inspected by an air conditioning expert.

However, the best bet for ensuring your safety is to have a new central air conditioner professionally installed. As the study showed, central ACs do cause fires as well, and much of this is likely due to improper installation. The experts at Gilmore Heating Air & Plumbing can help you select the AC that’s right for your home, install it so that it will work safely and properly, and give you tips on how to ensure safe, reliable operation in the future.

To learn how Gilmore can keep your home cool and safe, give us a call at 888-868-2316, or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. It’s hot out there, so don’t wait!

Modesto Apartment Fire Shows Risks of Window Air Conditioners

A few weeks ago, we posted a blog post discussing the danger posed by window-mounted air conditioners. In that article, we noted that one of the key causes of air conditioner fires is using extension cords to power window units. This is because extension cords are too high of a gauge—they are too thin—to handle the current necessary to power a window AC. When used to power an air conditioner, these cords will overheat, and can cause a fire.

 

Unfortunately, an apartment fire in Modesto last month illustrated the exact scenario described above. At nearly 5 am on July 28th, a fire was reported at an apartment complex that happened to be across the street from the Modesto Fire Department. Thanks to the Fire Department’s proximity, they were able to respond within minutes of the fire starting, and nobody was injured.

However, two units were seriously damaged, displacing nearly 20 people. The fire caused approximately $100,000 in damage, and there are concerns that the fire damaged wiring and plumbing serving other units in the complex, necessitating the shutdown of electricity, gas, and water.

Investigators at the scene determined that the residents of the unit where the fire started were using a window-mounted air conditioner powered by cord insufficient to meet the unit’s power demands.

Central air conditioners can help save lives and homes.

We understand that for many, window-mounted air conditioners are an attractive option. They are inexpensive, and easy to install in older homes and apartment complexes. However, the safety of a window unit is entirely dependent upon the owner’s or tenant’s ability and willingness to operate it in a safe manner.

While no air conditioning solution can be considered to be 100% safe, central air conditioning systems offer a significant safety advantage when a trained expert handles the wiring and installation of the system.

If you are a homeowner or apartment complex owner considering options for keeping your property cool during Central California’s hot summer season, Gilmore Heating Air & Plumbing can help. Give us a call at 888-868-2316, or send us a message through our website’s contact form.

Our representatives will be happy to talk to you about your options, and help you identify the most efficient, cost effective, and safe way to keep your property cool and comfortable.