Improving your indoor air quality can be a constant struggle if you or a family member has an allergy or another sensitivity to air pollutants such as pet dander. But did you know that your AC system can help boost indoor air quality? How you use and care for your AC system can greatly affect the pollutant levels and humidity in your indoor air.
So whether you have asthma, need tips on getting the upper hand in a fight with mildew, or just want to provide a clean environment for your children to grow up in, your air conditioning system should be your ally. Here are three ways to use your AC unit to help optimize your indoor air quality.
1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT AIR FILTERS AND CHANGE THEM FREQUENTLY
Each AC intake vent should have an air filter attached to it in order to filter out most of the dust in the indrawn air. The dirtier the air filters get, though, the more dust and pollutants can push through and get into the vents, which means you should change the filters at least as often as recommended if not more often. And you should, of course, choose the best filters to optimize the cleanliness of the air in your system.
This doesn't necessarily mean buying the thickest filters with the tiniest holes that let practically nothing through, though. This type of filter can do more harm than good by making it hard for air to get into the system. Instead of a HEPA filter, you may wish to choose a high-efficiency pleated filter that catches almost as much dust but lets the air pass through more easily. (Or if you have a little more money to invest, you can install an external system that takes air from the duct on a detour out of the duct to filter it with a HEPA filter.)
2. HAVE YOUR DUCTS CLEANED WHEN NEEDED
You can choose to have your ducts cleaned on a regular basis or to only call for professional cleaning if you're having a specific problem such as pests, allergy flare-ups, or mold outbreaks. Ducts can accumulate a whole lot of dust and other pollutant build-up despite the filters on their intake vents, so this can be a useful way to reduce aggravation of your allergies.
It's not recommended that you try to clean the ducts yourself, since the operation requires quite a bit of specialized equipment in order to be successful. Plus, you could mess up something inside the system if you're not familiar with how the inside of a duct system works.
3. USE THE AUTO OR ON FAN SETTINGS TO CONTROL DEHUMIDIFYING EFFECT
You may have heard that AC systems can help reduce humidity, but you may not know that you can effectively turn that function on and off. If you have the fan switched to ON, it will run continuously, and the water that condensed out of your air inside the HVAC system will then evaporate back into your indoor air, meaning your humidity will remain about the same. (If you live in an area that already has low humidity, you may wish to choose this option.)
On the other hand, if you have the fan set on AUTO, it will switch off when the unit isn't busy cooling your home. This allows a dehumidifying effect because then the water that was condensed out of your air is removed from your home and doesn't get blown back in.
These three tips can help you intelligently manage your AC system as a tool in your fight against indoor air pollution. For more AC system information or to learn about our services, visit Authorized Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. on the web today.