Australia (and in particular, Western Australia), is well known for dry, hot conditions over summer.
Whilst this makes for great days at the beach and cool evenings around the bbq, it also means the risk for bushfires in the South West is incredibly high over summer.
The chances of an evaporative air conditioner catching fire from the embers of a bushfire is quite high, as the system itself sits on the exterior of the home. But there are ways you can help prevent the chance of ember fires occurring.
Australia’s bushfires are keeping air conditioning contractors busy – as record-breaking pollution clogs filters with smoke and ash. Technicians say they’re flushing black soot from units far from the fire zones. https://t.co/VZ3A1cpmr5 #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/qBr1owj1Y9
— 7NEWS Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) December 30, 2019
10 Tips on Protecting Your Home and Family During Bushfire Season
- Ember protection screens are available in some areas of the South West. These are screens that sit around the exterior unit of your air conditioner to protect it from… you guessed it – embers!
- Give your air conditioner proper and frequent flushes – a flush clears out your system from any blockages, and removes any captured pollen and dust particles.
- If you smell bushfire smoke nearby, run your air conditioner to wet the filter pads.
- When smoke is over your home or ash starts to drop around your house, switch the air conditioner off.
- Keep your filter pads as cool and wet as possible.
- Make sure your external units are cleared of leaves, twigs, and grass as much as possible – including the gutters.
- Consider switching to a ducted system or a wall mounted – these units are attached on the other side of the wall to the air conditioner – usually in the garage.
- Make sure your air conditioner settings have the ‘fresh air’ function turned OFF if you can smell bushfire smoke.
- Make sure the entire family knows where your evacuation meeting point is in case of a fire.
- Update your model – older air conditioners are more prone to overheating and sparking up, accounting for $82m in property damage annually, according to ABC.
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