Can air conditioners spread allergens?
The answer is yes, they can. If not cleaned and properly maintained, they can put allergens into the air which contribute to a myriad of health issues namely those dealing with respiration such as allergies and asthma.
A dirty air conditioner filter prevents cool air from flowing. It takes trapped dirt, dust, dander, and pollen and distributes it throughout a room. People who spend time in the space breathe in the air and develop allergies in the process. Investing in regular AC cleaning prevents that problem from occurring.
It prevents the spreading of pollutants throughout the home. It does not, however, eliminate them. In order to do that, you must first identify the source of the problem and do your part to get rid of it before it worsens. The next section addresses the top in-home allergens so you can determine if they’re what is causing you or a family member’s allergies to worsen.
The Top In-Home Allergens
To better understand what you’re up against, it’s important to know what causes allergens to build up inside the home. Among the biggest culprit is a dirty air conditioner filter which is easily taken care of with AC cleaning. Replacing the filter every few weeks is highly recommended with the frequency increasing in homes with pets.
Other allergens that cause concern include:
- Cigarette Smoke. Second-hand smoke can cause respiratory problems in children and adults. It can also be problematic for pets. Asking that all smokers take their cigarettes and vape pens outdoors to smoke keeps the nicotine out of the home and lungs of the residence’s occupants. Most people have no issue smoking or vaping outdoors especially if the person they are visiting requests that they do so.
- Dust Mites. The parasites live in linens and gather on clothing and toys that sit untouched for a while. The best way to deal with them is to clean and vacuum the home regularly. It’s impossible to get rid of them completely but you can reduce the problems caused by the dust mites significantly by dusting, vacuuming, and washing sheets, pillowcases, and blankets frequently. Creating a weekly cleaning schedule for yourself helps you take care of all the potentially problematic areas inside the home.
- Mold. Using a dehumidifier inside the home helps reduce instances of mold. When it’s warm, dark, and damp in a room, spores appear. Hiring a professional to tackle a mold problem before it worsens is imperative. Mold is the type of problem that can get a home condemned if it gets bad enough.
- Pollen. Ensuring that your doors and windows have screens on them is one way to keep pollen out. Keeping your AC unit’s filter clean at all times does, too. Investing in the right size of filter for the make and model of air conditioner that you have makes it easier to trap pollutants and keep them from entering your home, nostrils, and mouth while you breathe.
- Pet Dander. Like dust mites, you can’t avoid a pet that sheds. If your dog or cat has long hair, make sure to brush them outdoors regularly. You’ll also want to sweep, dust, and vacuum on a routine basis. Cleaning the pet’s bedding also helps eliminate traces of hair and dander which cause a lot of people’s allergies to kick in.
- Toxic Chemical Cleaning Supplies. Switching to all-natural, organic cleaning products eliminates the level of toxicity inside the home. Individuals with chemical sensitivities notice a distinct difference in how they feel and breathe once commercial cleaners are banned from the residence. Common kitchen ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar are often used in many DIY cleaning recipes. They’re all-natural and not something that aggravates or creates allergies for people.
An indoor air quality test allows you to better understand what could be triggering you or your family member’s allergies. It makes it easier to eliminate the source of the problem by repairing a broken AC unit. AC repair makes the unit work more efficiently at eliminating the issue of indoor allergens.
Making sure that your air conditioner isn’t doing more harm than good is your responsibility. By learning what to do to keep your unit working optimally, you eliminate many of the problems caused by pollutants inside the home. You also protect your investment by keeping your AC in good working order so you can continue to use it for years without replacing it.
What You Can Do to Keep Your AC Running Well
There are things you can do to keep your AC in good working order. The first is to not put off AC repair. If you know that your air conditioner isn’t doing its job, it’s time to call in a professional. The fix could be as simple as air duct cleaning.
Staying on top of routine maintenance prevents your air conditioner from freezing up and running up your home energy bills. An AC can run non-stop, not put out cool air, cause an electric bill to skyrocket, and burn out its motor rendering the unit useless.
That’s why you should take a look at the unit routinely, remove anything blocking its air flow, switch out its filter, and have a technician service it before using it full-time in the hotter months of the year. You’re able to prolong the lifespan of the AC that way and keep yourself from paying exorbitant costs to the electric company.
What AC Maintenance Entails
If you’re unsure of what hiring a professional to perform maintenance on your air conditioning unit entails, don’t worry. Anyone who hasn’t had the experience of working with an expert isn’t sure what to expect. A company such as Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling puts your mind to ease right away by remaining communicative throughout the maintenance process.
Before an air conditioner is turned on for the first time for the season, a technician comes out and takes a look at the unit. They remove the air filter and replace it with a new one. They check coolant levels to make sure they are adequate enough to cool your size of home for the duration of the summer.
The tech turns the air conditioner on to make sure that it gets to the desired temperature right away. They also note any strange sounds the AC makes or smells that come out of the unit. If a repair must be done to get the air conditioner back in good working order, the professional does it on the spot as long as they have the replacement part in stock.
Addressing common furnace problems is something else that we do in addition to repairing a broken AC unit and performing routine AC maintenance. Having a company you can trust to take care of your air conditioning and heating needs is essential as a homeowner. It ensures that your home remains a comfortable temperature year-round.