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Do air conditioners help clean up indoor air pollution?

Those who have air conditioners in their homes can attest to the benefits and comfort associated with an HVAC system. With a modern air conditioner in your home, you can adjust the temperatures and have the perfect indoor environment, either warm or cool air, depending.

And although ACs have tremendous benefits, there’s one question most people ask: Do air conditioners help clean up indoor air pollution?

In this post, we will discuss how the AC works, its true purpose, and whether it can clean up indoor air pollution. Read on.

The Purpose of Air Conditioners

An air conditioner is designed to cool your home when the air outside is hot. For effectiveness, you should close your doors and windows and turn on the AC. The air conditioning system absorbs the surrounding air, adjusts its temperature to your preferred degrees and sends it back.

Note that the AC only cools the air in your home and is not made to dehumidify or humidify the air, which is also an important aspect of indoor air. Nevertheless, ACs can adjust humidity levels, though sparingly, meaning you cannot control the degree of humidity inside your home.

Similarly, ACs are not meant to filter and produce fresh air. While some may have an air filter that can eliminate some dust, they cannot eliminate the tiniest impurities. Most small impurities, such as pollen, are pushed into the AC, but since these systems have standard filters that cannot catch the tiny pollutants, they are often returned back to the room.

Also, air ducts may collect some impurities that are also pushed back to the indoor air with the help of the AC. Essentially, your AC may be making your indoor air dirty instead of purifying it, particularly if your AC is dirty. So it’s best to clean your AC to avoid it pushing back the impurities into your home.

Contrary to what many people believe, indoor air is ten times more contaminated than outdoor air. While the cool air may seem refreshing, it actually contains tiny hard-to-detect impurities that may cause respiratory diseases and irritations.

Filtering Indoor Air

An Air conditioner may not clean indoor air on its own. Its standard air filters are meant to trap only the big pollutants. However, you can make your AC more effective in cleaning the air inside by replacing its filters with a HEPA filter (High-Efficiency Particulate Air). HEPA filters improve your ACs efficiency and get rid of tiny pollutants and irritants from your indoor air.

Once you have changed the filters, you need to clean them up once in two weeks. There is a misconception that ACs work best when the filters are dusty, but that is not true. In addition, you should clean the evaporator coils for effectiveness. If you fail to clean the coil, the airflow will be limited and, instead, affect the effectiveness and efficiency of your AC.

How do I choose the right filter?

The type of filter you select impacts the process of air circulation. Most ACs that trap the smallest pollutants tend to have poor airflow. So it’s critical to choose the right type of filter based on the pollution levels of your space and the size of your home.

To ascertain whether an AC will work efficiently for your environment, you should look at the MERV rating. This rating determines how tightly the filter is woven and, therefore, the type and size of pollutants it can trap. Ideally, residential filters have a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rating of between 8 and 13.

MERV 8 can eliminate up to 35% of the indoor pollutants. The filter can trap dust mites, hairspray particles, and carpet fibers. On the other hand, MERV 9-12 has finer filtration capability and can rid up to 45% of indoor air pollution. These filters are highly effective and can immensely improve indoor air quality.

MERV 13 are considered the most effective air purifiers and are convenient for people with weak immune systems. They can filter tobacco smoke, sneeze droplets, bacteria, or other microorganisms. These filters trap up to 90% of the impurities. However, they have a lower airflow and should be changed every three months.

Although the AC can help to clean the air inside, not all pollutants are caught. The type of filter you have in your AC will determine the percentage of impurities filtered. Remember that the primary function of the AC is to cool your home, so to purify the indoor air, you must find an AC with the required filters.

If you need an AC system that can purify indoor air, you can speak with our experts at Jamison Air. At Jamison Air, we deal with Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance. We offer you, among other services, installation, repair, and maintenance of all types of air conditioning systems at favorable prices.

 

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