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How to Keep Your AC from Affecting Your Health

Is your air conditioner polluting your indoor air? What sorts of health problems are associated with residential and commercial AC systems? Here’s what your local HVAC contractor in Albany, OR wants you to know about your air conditioner to keep it from affecting your health.

The reason you have an air conditioner installed in your home is to create a comfortable indoor environment. ACs are used mostly during the summer months when long hot days are the norm, but did you know that turning on the air conditioner to cool down can be a risk to your health? This is especially true if your unit and system are old and poorly maintained, as they can cause respiratory conditions and spread disease. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to minimize the risks:

  • The first thing to do is keep up with preventative maintenance, whether the air conditioner is in your home or office. It’s important to clean and maintain your AC unit and its components, as this is your main defense against poor indoor air quality that can lead to health issues. Wipe down the outdoor unit, keep air vents clean and get your ducts cleaned.
  • Duct cleaning might be a good way to remove dust, dirt and other debris buildups inside your HVAC ductwork. However, this service is mostly only needed when there’s visible dust or mold present. Take care of mold and dust to reduce your chances of experiencing health problems.
  • If you’ve recently completed a home renovation project, you should probably have your air ducts cleaned. During construction, debris tends to fall everywhere, and dangerous materials like asbestos and lead-based paint particles can get inside ducts.

Here’s a closer look at how your air conditioning unit contributes to poor indoor air quality:

  • The majority of residential air conditioning units re-circulate indoor air in an effort to save energy. Unfortunately, this action can negatively impact indoor air quality if there’s not enough outside air coming in to take its place.
  • Dirty air filters will not perform as well as clean ones. Clogged filters restrict airflow, and they don’t filter out allergens, pollen, dust, and other air pollutants from entering your home.
  • When your windows are not properly sealed, your air conditioner is prevented from doing its job correctly. It may have to run more and work harder just to keep the inside of your house at the desired temperature.

Here are some tips to help you keep your indoor air quality at its best:

  • Change HVAC air filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most filters need to be checked and changed every one to three months.
  • Fresh air can flush out air pollutants and circulate your indoor air, so open the windows on cool days and evenings.
  • Consider signing up for annual professional HVAC checks and maintenance.
  • Keep track of HVAC maintenance and plan to purchase a new air conditioning unit every 10 to 15 years (or after the time recommended by the manufacturer of the unit).

Do you need to hire an HVAC contractor in Albany, OR for services? Call Larsell Mechanical Service today!