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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Arizona’s Insurance Claims Experts Offer Tips to Keep Air Conditioners Running Smoothly

With 100° temperatures having already occurred across Phoenix and Tucson, a properly functioning central air conditioner provides a comfortable indoor environment for building occupants. In many parts of the state, air conditioning is an absolute necessity this time of year.

With several weeks to go before the official start of summer, most Arizona residents have already been using their AC for weeks if not months. In addition to providing cool air and ventilation, air conditioners help to remove excessive humidity from the air which can help prevent the growth of mold and the presence of dust mites. Most air conditioners also have air filters that depending on the quality of the filtration can help to remove particles, allergens and respiratory irritants from the air people breathe.

Air conditioner maintenance is crucial to ensure the units continue to operate, are energy efficient and provide good indoor air quality (IAQ). Some routine maintenance tasks can be handled by property owners while others may require the services of a qualified professional.

Basic maintenance tips include the following with the power shut off to the unit:
·         Remove debris and plant growth from around and inside of the exterior condenser
·         Clean the outdoor unit and its fins, but do not use a pressure washer to prevent damage
·         Look for bent or damaged fins and have them straightened
·         Check to determine if any excessive settling has occurred
·         Check  for damage and wear, and clean the evaporator coil
·         Inspect and clean the condensation drain
·         Replace old air filters, some units also have a filter for an outdoor air intake
·         Inspect duct work for signs of debris, contamination and obvious leaks
·         Checking airflow, thermostat accuracy and the amount of refrigerant, or if there are any refrigerant leaks, is often best handled by a qualified professional

“An improperly installed or maintained air conditioner may not properly cool a home or building and could pose a fire hazard in some circumstances,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “Arizona’s extreme temperatures can cause AC units to overheat and clogged condensation drains can create electrical hazards that could result in fires. Even new AC units can pose a fire risk as was the case when a major HVAC manufacturer recently recalled over 230,000 units due to electrical burn and fire hazards.” 

Residential and commercial property owners in Arizona who have suffered property damage due to a malfunctioning HVAC system or any other reason can turn to the experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters to file, manage and resolve their insurance claims. Their public adjusters represent only policyholders to ensure all damages are recognized, documented, comprehensively managed and settled fairly. They also recently sponsored an educational video about air conditioner preventive maintenance and indoor air quality that can be seen at:

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Arizona Homeowners Learn Clothes Dryer Fire Prevention Tips and How to Respond if One Occurs

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, almost 3,000 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property loss. The agency reports that the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them (34%).

In addition to having a clothes dryer professionally installed to prevent fires, the U.S. Fire Administration recommends that people clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry and that they clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up. Homeowners are also encouraged to clean lint out of the vent pipe every three months and have the dryer cleaned regularly by a professional, especially if it is taking longer than normal for clothes to dry. People also need to be sure to keep the area around the clothes dryer free of items that could catch on fire.

“Simple preventive maintenance can dramatically reduce the chance of a clothes dryer fire,” said Tom Allen from Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “For anyone who does suffer damage from a clothes dryer fire it’s important that they understand the extent of damage that can occur even from a small fire. While damage from flames is often obvious, smoke residues from a small fire can spread throughout a home or building causing costly remediation, repairs and the necessity to replace sensitive electronics that can succumb to the corrosive effects of smoke residues.” 

Clothes dryer fire damage and smoke residues are covered by most homeowners and property insurance policies. Policyholders should consider the services of a licensed and knowledgeable public adjuster to help them with their insurance claim so that any damages that are out of sight or caused by smoke residues are not missed by the insurance company. Insurance companies hope to close claims as quickly as possible for as little money as possible. The public adjusters at Hudson Douglas work exclusively for the policyholder to represent only their interests. This means damages are not overlooked, the property is comprehensively repaired and smoke damaged electronics are replaced. 


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