Indoor air quality can have a significant impact on a family’s health. Pollutants can aggravate allergies and asthma, and they can even encourage respiratory diseases to develop. The home’s air conditioner is one of the most important factors for determining the local air quality, so every homeowner should keep an eye on it and call a reliable HVAC company if any problems appear. It isn’t always easy to find those problems, but there are a few things that anyone can notice if they keep their eyes peeled.

Indoor Air Quality Starts With Your Air Conditioner

Clean the Filter

Most air conditioners function by circulating air through the system and back into the home. That gives the air a chance to pick up dust, spores, and other pollutants, so most units also include filters to clean the air as it circulates. Those filters normally work quite well, but they need to be replaced every so often to prevent them from getting clogged and useless. It’s hard to predict how often this needs to be done, since it will vary depending on the quality of the air that passes through those filters. The best way to avoid problems is to check the filters at regular intervals and to clean or replace them whenever they look dirty. In most cases, that will be once every two weeks or so, but it’s important to check the filters instead of relying on a guideline.

Check the Ducts

The filters aren’t the only place where pollutants can build up and cause problems. They can also accumulate in the air ducts, which can spread the problem all over the home. Mold is the largest problem in these cases, since the air ducts are often a moist environment where it can survive for a long time. As the mold survives, it will release spores in order to spread, and those spores can cause respiratory problems in humans.

It usually isn’t easy or necessary for families to clean their air ducts on their own. It’s usually best to call an HVAC company to prevent damage to the system. It’s a good idea to clean them regularly to be safe, but it’s only necessary when there is visible mold or dust building up in the ducts or when people are having respiratory problems and can’t identify the cause.

Fresh Air Helps

Keeping the AC system clean can prevent most problems, but indoor air quality will still degrade over time in most homes. The easiest way to prevent that is to open up the windows and let some fresh air into the house. That will help to get rid of any contamination that the filters couldn’t handle on their own. Try to do this when the outdoor air is at its cleanest. That means avoiding times when people are spraying pesticides, doing construction work nearby, or doing anything else that could lower the quality of air in the area.

Preventing Problems

Always remember that it’s better to prevent problems that to deal with them after the fact. If something happens that could cause problems with the AC unit, it’s better to get some preventative maintenance than it is to wait until people get sick. It’s best to clean filters more often when people are spraying chemicals or working indoors. Moisture encourages mold to grow, so homeowners should watch their air ducts during periods of high humidity. When it looks like there might be a problem, play it safe and call an HVAC company for help to prevent medical issues from developing.

Why Does it Matter?

That may seem like a lot of effort, but indoor air quality is a major health concern. Poor air quality can aggravate most respiratory problems, and in the long run exposure to polluted air lowers life span and leads to trouble breathing. Children are especially vulnerable, and the damage can last a lifetime. It’s much easier and more pleasant to prevent those problems by cleaning a few ducts and filters than it is to treat the diseases for years to come.