7 Ways to Avoid Air Conditioning Dangers So You & Your AC Don’t Overheat

air conditioning unitIt's only the end of May, but plenty of cities across the country are already experiencing summer-like temperatures, especially in the northeast -- where it's 90 degrees this afternoon! It feels like an oven out there, and on days like today, I'm especially thankful that our house has central air conditioning. I really don't know how people live without it -- or at the very least, without air conditioning units in most rooms of the house.

Suffering through sweltering temperatures isn't just uncomfortable -- it can also take its toll on your health by upping the risk of heat-related illnesses. But if you are using air conditioning units to cool down your pad instead of central air, you want to make sure you have them installed properly, and taking the proper safety precautions is a must. The last thing you need on a super hot and humid day is for your unit to overheat and cause a fire!

Here are some great tips for keeping yourself nice and cool and also safe while using your window unit this summer.

More from The Stir: Your Home May Be Hurting Your Health (VIDEO)

1. Always make sure the unit is plugged into a three-prong outlet, and make sure the wiring in your house can handle the electricity used by the unit.

2. Turn your air conditioning units on early so the house cools gradually during the day instead of waiting until the heat is unbearable.

3. Make sure to have your unit inspected each year and change the filters regularly.

4. Be sure the unit you choose is the right size for the particular room you plan on using it in.

5. Turn off any lights you don't need in the house, and close all blinds and window shades before using the air conditioner.

6. Don't use appliances like dishwashers or dryers until nighttime, when the air conditioning units aren't as likely to be in use.

7. Block off any unused rooms to get the maximum cooling effects from your unit.

Do you have central air, or are you relying on air conditioning units or other cooling methods to beat the heat?


Image via Keith Williamson/Flickr

home electronics, home safety


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ashjo85 ashjo85

I don't know anyone who has these in NM. We use swamp coolers for the most part, with the rest central air. I have a swamp cooler, and it works great!

Roxygurl Roxygurl

Thank god for central air. I live in Houston and actually did grow p in a house without central air. We had window units in every bedroom plus the living room......I will never willingly live in a house without central air again.

nonmember avatar A

Only poor people don't have central A/C.

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

We have c-a/c but our upstairs still gets stuffy in the mid summer heat. We've contemplated getting a window unit for night time use up there, so these tips were helpful :)

Miche... MichelleNYC

@ A - that is not true. In NYC it is not common to have central air, because the buildings are older constructions and AC isn't necessary most of the time. I grew up in Miami a lot poorer but with central air because it is kinda necessary there. 

nonmember avatar A

Only poor people live in old buildings.

Coral Biron Karrass

OK A not sure if you've been to any historic neighborhoods in new england but many of the mansions and and beautiful large homes do not have central air as it would damage the homes to install it.The poeple who own and live in these homes and not poor by any standard so I think you comments are just ignorant and judgmental.

Delamara Delamara

A is just being a troll, so don't give them attention. They'll only use it against you again.

Living in Florida, our a/c is always running lol. But I don't want to keep the binds closed, it's too pretty outside. And it's pretty damn depressing to just sit in a dark house :/ I've always had a house with central a/c, but I grew up military (my dad is a retired Marine) and I married an Air Man, so thankfully our base house has a/c :)

Amber Copeland

I live in New Mexico and I use window units. My house is older and the cost of installing ductwork would be outrageous. I've had swamp coolers but I hated the upkeep and all that went along with them. My LG window unit is perfect for my house.

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