The quality of air in your home is important to your health. Some pollutants cause symptoms immediately, while others show up years later or only after prolonged exposure. You can take action to raise the quality of the air within your house.
Clean the Filters
Cleaning the filters in your air conditioner is one of the quickest and most effective ways to improve the air quality inside your home. Clogged air filters restrict airflow and cause the system to work harder, consuming more energy and wearing out faster. Indoor air pollution can result in health effects both immediately and over the long term. In the short run, it can irritate the eyes, nose and throat, as well as headaches and fatigue. It can also trigger respiratory problems and asthma, exacerbate symptoms of chronic diseases like heart disease, and even increase the risk for some types of cancers.
The most common sources of indoor air pollution include combustion sources like oil, gas, kerosene, wood and tobacco products; building materials including deteriorated insulation and certain pressed wood products; household chemicals used for cleaning, personal care, hobbies and cleaning appliances; and central heating and cooling equipment and kitchen vents. Humidity, temperature and outdoor pollutants can also impact indoor air quality.
Replace the Compressor
The compressor is the most important component in an air conditioner. Without it, the system can’t even run. If the compressor has failed, it’s time to call an HVAC Dallas AC repair professional.
Whether you repair or replace the compressor depends on several factors, including how long the unit has been in service and the status of other major components. Replacing the outdoor unit and evaporator coil (the indoor AC unit) is a better option if one or more major components are old and at risk of failure soon. Humidity is another factor to consider. High humidity creates a musty, damp odor in the house and increases the potential for mold and mildew to grow. An AC repair can reduce humidity by improving air circulation and introducing fresh outdoor air. It’s also a good idea to use circulating thermostats and run local bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans whenever possible to increase the rate at which stale, humid air is drawn out of the home.
Install a HEPA Filter
High-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filters are the norm in hospitals and clinics because they eliminate microscopic organisms that might seriously harm a person’s health and inorganic dust trapped in the air.
These include airborne viruses, bacteria, mold spores and pollen. HEPA filters are made with thick filter paper or fiberglass formed into mini folds to increase the surface area for filtration. They are then packed tightly together to form a compact unit, and they can be attached to your ductwork through a bypass loop that allows the filters to operate without hampering airflow.
Allergens like pet dander, tobacco smoke and mold spores can make breathing difficult, especially for newborns and people with respiratory conditions. HEPA filters can improve indoor air quality by preventing these pollutants, allowing for a better night’s sleep and more productive daytime activity.
Install a Carbon Filter
Activated carbon filters work to remove odors, chemicals, and volatile organic compounds. They are made of little carbon granules that have undergone special processing to make them extremely absorbent. One gram of activated carbon has a surface area of 500 m2. This allows it to absorb more contaminants and pollutants. Carbon filters, such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), are especially effective when removing gas pollutants. These can also be caused by wildfire smoke or chemicals. Carbon filters can eliminate these more effectively than a HEPA filter alone.
Replace the Coils
While a good air filter and carbon filter help improve the air’s quality, addressing humidity problems is another vital component. Excessive humidity harms your health, creating a musty smell in the home and promoting mold and mildew growth. It can also increase concentrations of dust mites that can aggravate asthma and allergies. It can also damage furniture and paint in the home. The condenser and evaporator coils have many surface areas susceptible to collecting dirt, grime, and debris. This can reduce system efficiency and affect performance. The evaporator coil can get especially dirty, leading to the system having a low SEER rating. In some cases, replacing the entire AC unit instead of just the evaporator coil may make more sense.
Check the Condensation Drain
As a result of poor indoor air quality, many people experience health issues. This is especially true for young children, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses or other medical conditions. Poor indoor air quality can result in symptoms like headaches, dizziness, exhaustion, and eye, nose, and throat irritation. Long-term studies have connected it to respiratory conditions, worse cognitive function, and a higher risk of developing several chronic illnesses. Inadequate ventilation, filthy filters and home cleaners, and exposure to hazardous chemicals are all causes of poor indoor air quality.
Keeping your home clean and using natural cleaners can help improve the air quality in your home. Another important factor is the presence of radon, which is a colorless and odorless gas that can damage your health. Regular radon testing is recommended.