The air people breathe inside their homes is something they usually take for granted, until they start getting coughs, allergies, and other respiratory symptoms they can’t explain. Living in Port St. Lucie, FL, means that your home’s air conditioning system is probably running most of the time, which means that it has the potential to contribute to – or detract from – your home’s indoor air quality. Fortunately, all it takes is a few minutes weekly or monthly to take care of your air conditioning system, so it keeps on generating clean, cool air for your family’s comfort.
How Air Conditioners Affect Your Indoor Air Quality
Modern air conditioning systems are designed to channel the air in your home through a filter, over a cold coil, then back into your home through a network of ducts and vents. In that process, your air conditioner is also trapping particles of dust, debris, allergens, and water-soluble microbes, and removing them from the released air. Over time, these particles can accumulate, and result in foul odors, more frequent colds and allergies, and decreased efficiency of your AC unit.
What You Can Do
Your home air conditioning system works hard, especially in Port St. Lucie, FL. Fortunately, keeping it running smoothly and generating clean air isn’t hard work at all. The best thing you can do for your air conditioning system is to ensure that the filters are clean. Check your filters once a week, and if they appear dirty, replace them.
Another vital step is keeping your evaporator coil clean. Depending on the make and model of your AC system, you might be able to access this component yourself, or you might be better off calling a professional HVAC technician, such as American Air Cares, in order to execute this step safely. In either case, having your evaporator coil cleaned annually will go a long way toward ensuring that the air your family breathes is clean and germ-free.
If, after replacing your air conditioning unit’s filter, and cleaning the evaporator coil, your AC still pumps out air that smells bad or aggravates your allergies, it’s time to look into your ductwork. This is a labor-intensive and potentially dirty process that is best handled by professional contractors and a certified cooling and heating company like American Air Cares.
The Right Filter Can Make All the Difference
Your AC unit’s filter is an integral part of its overall function and your indoor air quality. When it comes time to replace your filter, spending a little extra money can have a significant impact on your cooling system’s efficiency, and your family’s comfort. Look for a filter with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, also known as the MERV rating, between 8 and 13. MERV 8 is considered perfectly sufficient for most residential air conditioning systems by most HVAC contractors. If you are extra-sensitive to dust or other airborne microbes, or are immunocompromised, you might want to upgrade to a filter with a MERV rating of 9-13. However, have a professional AC tech verify that your system is capable of handling the increased airflow and power demands these higher-grade filters would require.