How Routine AC Maintenance Affects Indoor Air Quality

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality With AC Maintenance

We have waited all winter long for the return of warm weather, and finally, springtime sunshine is bringing warmer temperatures. Soon, we will be switching from the HEAT to the COOL setting on the thermostat. We really appreciate these two settings since we are aware of the comfort they bring. A lesser-known function of the HVAC system is the role it plays in improving indoor air quality.

An enclosed space with no air movement quickly develops a stale, musty smell and is not safe for human habitation. Opening the space to outside air immediately freshens the air, but outside air is subject to seasonal temperature fluctuations. The furnace and air conditioning can adjust the air temperature, but they must also keep the air fresh and clean; hence the V in HVAC stands for ventilation.

As the cooling season begins, there are three important roles needed for keeping indoor air quality high:

You Play a Role in Indoor Air Quality

How is indoor air quality measured? By determining the number and content of airborne particles (usually parts per million). You might see these particles when sunlight shines into a room at certain angles. These particles consist primarily of dust, pollen, and other very small items small enough to be carried in moving air.

The important thing to know about these particles is that they are heavier than air. Therefore, whenever the air stops moving, these particles fall on whatever surface is below them. You contribute to indoor air quality when you:

  • Dust horizontally surfaces in a way that removes the particles.
  • Vacuum and mop floor surfaces.
  • Change and clean bedding, etc.

These normal cleaning activities play a vital role in removing pollutants. Unfortunately, this is a never-ending process; while you forever remove the existing pollutants, more particles will take their place.

Your HVAC System Plays a Role in Indoor Air Quality

The technology that heats and cools your indoor space requires the movement of a massive amount of air: the blower motor moves the entire volume of your home every two minutes or so. This movement of air does two things vital to improving indoor air quality:

  • The moving air mixes the air well. These both mix the thermal layers of air to even temperature throughout the space and mix concentrations of particles—say odors from cooking. Moving air also adds comfort.
  • All this moving air passes through an air filter, which collects most airborne particles.
  • (Filters are available in a variety of ratings, with increasingly smaller openings to capture smaller particles. Check with an AC maintenance professional to determine the best filter rating for your HVAC system.)

While you remove particles that have settled onto surfaces, the air filter collects the particles that remain airborne. That is quite a combination!

Professional HVAC Services Play a Role in Indoor Air Quality

The engineers who designed your HVAC system recognize these measures are not enough; all manufacturers give homeowners guidelines that include annual inspection and cleaning of the system. A technician will clean:

  • The outdoor condenser unit. Polen, dirt, and grass clippings get sucked into the network of tubes and fins, preventing the heat transfer vital to air conditioning.
  • The blower motor fan. It is strange to see particles that can collect on moving fan fins, but it is visible on ceiling fans as well.
  • The evaporator coils and drain pan. This area of the air conditioner stays wet during the cooling season. Dust is attracted to the wet surface and can clog the drain line. When this happens, the humidity that is removed from the air ends up on the floor, making a mess and damaging nearby surfaces.

If indoor air quality is extremely important to your family because of health concerns—allergies, asthma, or compromised immunity, consult with an AC Maintenance professional concerning further measures to reduce certain pollutants in the home.

Call the AC Maintenance Experts at All Cool AC!

Schedule your AC Maintenance consultation by calling All Cool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email and let our NATE-certified AC Maintenance technicians put their experience to work for you.