How Air Conditioning Maintenance Can Help You Keep Your Good Health

Air conditioning is no doubt a very purposeful invention that can improve the quality of an indoor environment. While many depend on home air conditioning when temperatures and humidity levels rise, it can actually cause health concerns under certain circumstances. To be sure you're getting the benefits from air conditioning—and none of the ill effects—you need to maintain your cooling system.

The Benefits of a Properly Maintained Cooling System

For those with chronic heart conditions, being outdoors in extreme heat and humidity can create serious health complications. Individuals with other medical conditions, such as emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), may also face health risks when exposed to extreme heat and humidity. In such cases, staying indoors in an air conditioned environment is beneficial. However, if not properly maintained, an air conditioning system can create health problems for chronically ill and healthy individuals.

Could Your Air Conditioner Be Causing Adverse Reactions?

The first place to begin is by changing the unit's air filter on a regular basis. Running an air conditioner with a dirty or clogged filter is not merely a waste of energy. Not changing an air conditioner filter regularly may promote unhealthy growth of mold spores, bacteria and dust particles. All of these factors may contribute to several health related issues. Your family may develop sinus infections, bronchitis or frequent colds due to a dirty filter.

The Right Filter for Better Air Quality

To help your air conditioning unit run efficiently and improve the quality of the air you breathe, replace the filter every few months. Ideally, every six weeks should suffice. The filter may need to be replaced sooner, however, especially if you use your air conditioner frequently. The type of filter you choose will also determine the volume of particles removed from the air.

Although fiberglass filters are considered standard and cost effective, and often used in apartment homes and offices, they don't trap a great deal of irritants in the air. If you want to remove the highest volume of airborne particles that may be detrimental to your health, consider using a high efficiency particulate (HEPA) filter in your air conditioning unit. This type of filter is especially beneficial for those with dust and pollen allergies, as well as asthma. Most modern vacuum cleaners make use of the HEPA filtration, so it makes sense to also run your air conditioner using the same technology.

Check the Condenser Drain Periodically

You need to check your air conditioner condenser drain from time to time. Why? Because a build-up of condensation may lead to unhealthy mold spores that multiply in the system. It's a good idea to have a professional do a thorough evaluation. It's not uncommon for a condenser drain to become blocked up with dirt and debris. Professional heating, ventilation and air Conditioning (HVAC) technicians can unclog the drain safely and efficiently.

Have the Air in Your Home Tested

Finally, it's a good idea to have an HVAC service repairman to perform an air quality test in your home. By doing so, it can be determined if pollutants such as dust, bacteria or mold are present. The evaluation will also help determine the most suitable air filter to use.

Clean those Air Ducts

As a final step, the technician may sanitize your home's air ducts to prevent further contamination. This may be done with rotary brushes and a high powered vacuum, and without the use of hazardous chemicals. All-natural or "green" solutions that are plant-derived may be used.

All of the above measures can help ensure a healthy home environment for yourself and your family. Here's to your good health.