From home to the car to the office, school or store, many of us spend our summers moving from one air-conditioned space to another. But have you ever considered the quality of the air coming out of that air conditioner?
It could be affecting your health.
Here are some things to consider before you turn on the AC:
Whether your unit is an HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) or a heat pump that provides cold air in summer and heat in winter, spring can be the perfect time to have your unit serviced to make sure it is ready for summer.
Getting your AC checked will make sure the unit is up to the stress of summer heat. It will also see to it that there are no mechanical problems that can contaminate the air inside your home.
Change the filter
A clogged filter can’t stop allergens, pesticides or other particles from entering your home. Just remember, if the filter is not clean, the air coming out of the vent will not be clean.
So before you crank up the AC for summer, change the filter. Consider writing the date you put in a new filter on the paper frame of the filter facing toward you. That can give you an easy way to keep track of how long the old filter has been in place.
Find out how often the manufacturer recommends changing the filter, and then do it. Your nose and lungs will thank you!
Open up for fresh air
Many air conditioners recycle the air already inside the building, which means your air conditioner can actually concentrate contaminants and help spread germs throughout the building.
Central air conditioning has been shown to spread serious infections, including a potentially fatal form of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease.
While this kind of infection may be rare, other contaminants are commonly found in indoor air, including chemicals from building materials, cleaning products, synthetic fibers and insecticides. Other contaminants include pet dander, dust mites and potentially deadly carbon monoxide from gas water heaters and other appliances.