As climate change worsens wildfires across the western U.S., communities are looking for ways to reduce risks and improve preparedness. One important yet often overlooked area is ensuring buildings have well-maintained, up-to-date HVAC systems. Properly installed and serviced heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment can significantly mitigate wildfire hazards.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an estimated 28,300 home fires originate from HVAC equipment each year, causing 290 deaths, over 1,000 injuries, and $1 billion in property damage. The U.S. Fire Administration reports lack of maintenance increases the likelihood of HVAC fires by 90%. With proper maintenance and upgrades, many of these fires could be prevented.
Regular maintenance is crucial for reducing ignition risks. Services like replacing air filters, cleaning vents and coils, inspecting electrical connections, and servicing motors should be done per manufacturer specifications. Well-maintained equipment is less likely to malfunction and spark fires.
Upgrading older HVAC units also reduces risks. Older central air conditioners often use flammable R-22 refrigerant. Newer units utilize safer refrigerants and have improved controls and safety features. Replacing outdated equipment removes fire hazards.
Additionally, installing MERV 13-16 rated filters can capture fine particulates from wildfire smoke, improving indoor air quality when fires occur nearby. Keeping indoor humidity below 40% inhibits ignition and fire spread. Adhering to fire codes for HVAC installation also contains risks.
With wildfire dangers increasing, communities must leverage all available preventative measures. Proper HVAC maintenance, upgrades, and usage can substantially reduce risks and damage from wildfires. As part of a comprehensive plan, modern and well-maintained HVAC systems can help save lives and property when the next major wildfire strikes.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for about 48% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense for most households.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) estimates that upgrading to a high-efficiency HVAC system can save homeowners up to 30% on their energy bills.
A study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that implementing energy efficiency measures in commercial buildings can lead to a 10-30% reduction in energy use.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that if every American household replaced its five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with ENERGY STAR certified ones, it would save $8 billion in annual energy costs and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 10 million cars.
About TOP TEAM HVAC
TOP TEAM HVAC is a full-service heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company committed to providing industry-leading solutions, flat-rate pricing, and exceptional customer service. With a team of highly trained technicians, TOP TEAM HVAC offers comprehensive services, including installation, maintenance, and repair of HVAC systems for both residential and commercial clients.
For more information, visit www.TopTeamHvac.com or call 818-851-7111.