When the summer months arrive, and outdoor temperatures soar, many people rush to turn on their air conditioning systems. But beyond providing comfortable, cool air, have you ever found yourself asking, “Do air conditioners help improve indoor air quality?”
The short answer to this question is, “It’s complicated.” Although AC does improve air quality to a certain degree, the extent of its effectiveness largely depends on the type of AC unit you have and how it is used. Let’s discuss this topic in more detail below.
What Is Indoor Air Pollution?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty about how AC does improve air quality, let’s clarify what indoor air pollution is and why it’s seen as an issue. All-in-all, “indoor air pollution” refers to various air pollutants that exist indoors and can cause negative health effects. This pollution can lead to respiratory problems, headaches, and more severe symptoms in vulnerable populations such as the elderly or young children. Some common airborne pollutants can include dust, pet dander, and pollen.
Does AC Improve Air Quality?
Practically no home is complete without an air conditioning system. However, for many homeowners, keeping cool isn’t the only priority on their minds. Many people are now looking for ways to improve their indoor air quality, as it’s well-known that various airborne pollutants can wreak havoc on a household’s health and comfort.
So, do air conditioners help improve indoor air quality? The answer is (drum roll…) it depends. All-in-all, a standard air conditioning unit does not filter or clean the air in your home. The main purpose of an AC system is to ‘condition’ the air, meaning it cools the warm air that is inside the house.
Did you know that the air filter inside your air conditioner can help remove various airborne particles? This filter is located in the HVAC system and helps to prevent dirt, dust, and other pollutants from recirculating back into your home. In this regard, having a properly functioning HVAC system with a clean air filter can potentially help improve your indoor air quality.
Although a professional technician will replace your air conditioner’s air filter as part of annual HVAC maintenance services, you can also complete this task yourself. It’s recommended that you change the filter at least once every 90 days, depending on your specific needs.
It’s also worth mentioning that if your air ducts have not been cleaned in a long time, dust and other particles can accumulate in the air conditioner. As a result, these contaminants can be recirculated back into your home. You might want to consider scheduling a duct cleaning with a professional technician.
Whole-Home Air Filtration Systems
There is some good news for those using central air conditioners. These AC units can be fitted with air filtration systems!
So, how do air conditioners help improve indoor air quality when they’re combined with an air filtration system? Essentially, these filtration systems are installed right into your central air conditioner, where they can catch pollutants and prevent them from recirculating back into homes. By having an air purifier, your air conditioning unit can help improve your home’s indoor air quality.
Fresh Air and Ventilation
Another factor that affects indoor air quality is the quality of the air coming into the home. If your home is well-ventilated, it allows for fresh air to circulate and improves indoor air quality. At times, opening the windows and doors of your home may be a simple yet cost-effective way of improving indoor air quality. When outdoor temperatures are moderate, this will be an excellent way to achieve fresh air without drastically impacting indoor temperature and humidity levels.
Improve Your Home’s Comfort With Dilling!
So, do air conditioners help improve indoor air quality? As you can see, this question doesn’t really have a straightforward answer. Although AC does improve air quality to a certain degree, it’s essential to remember that if an AC unit has not been installed with a filtration system, it may not help improve indoor air quality as much as you’d like it to. Additionally, replacing your HVAC system’s air filter, coupled with proper ventilation, is important if you want to ensure your home’s air quality is safe and healthy.
If you’re interested in upgrading your central air conditioner or investing in IAQ services in Gastonia, NC, turn to the experts at Dilling! Our professionals can assist you in determining the best course of action for improving your indoor air quality and comfort.