The Importance Of Air Quality and Your AC Unit
Like most of us, you automatically do what it takes to keep your daily environment safe and healthy. In fact, many of our days involve a great deal of attention to this, from using care to prepare food, dressing appropriately for the weather, maintaining our homes to protect us from the weather, and maintaining our vehicles for safe driving.
But what about the air you breathe?
A smoggy day in the city, or a sudden cloud of dust on a dirt road, even the smoke drifting from your neighbor’s barbecue or burning leaf pile can make you instantly aware of the importance of air quality.
What about in your home or workplace?
Most air-conditioned spaces have such noticably cleaner air than the outdoors, that you may not even give a thought to the question of healthy air quality there. And even if you did, what could you do about it anyway?
Actually, there’s plenty you can do.
You may already diligently change the filters on your air conditioning system; after all, it’s a simple, inexpensive chore – both in terms of dollars and time. But it’s so important to maintaining your AC unit, that we’re going to go over them here for those who don’t already know about this.
To do, indoors:
Your air conditioner pulls air into the system in order to cool it and blow it back into the room. The air passes through a fiber-mesh filter to remove particulates in the air – like dust, smoke and pollen. That’s why people with seasonal allergies are more comfortable when in air conditioning. It’s also what allows the HVAC to operate efficiently – if the filter becomes clogged enough, which it will do in time, your energy bills will go up! The time between service calls also gets shorter. So, be smart, save money, change the filters regularly and consider keeping spare filters on hand – they don’t cost much and can come in handy when needed.
How often should you change the filters? That depends on how much you run the system, but consider every couple of months at least. Once a month is better for helping with allergies.
To do, outdoors:
Your central air conditioning unit probably has a unit outside the house – and that occasionally needs your attention, too. The AC unit works much like your car’s cooling system – a fan draws air through a radiator to draw the heat off the liquid coolant circulating through the system. Plants or debris too close to the unit can obstruct the airflow and cause the system to work not as well. If allowed to remain obstructed, the motor can eventually work so hard that parts will fail and have to be replaced by a professional.
Ants can cause real problems, too. Fireants, especially, are attracted to the ionization that occurs in the relay switch. They’re small enough to crawl into the switch and get between the poles of the relay, shorting it out and shutting the unit off. A short in the relay can damage it and require replacement This requires a call to the professionals as well, so keep an eye out for tell-tale ant mounts around the bottom of your AC unit.
Keeping these tips in mind and performing a little bit of routine maintenance can go a long way toward keeping your air conditioning system working its best, improving your air quality and saving you money in energy and repair bills. The result? Less stress, cleaner air to breathe = better health AND more money in your pocket!