Most people think that they should stay indoors in order to avoid the pollutants in the outdoor air, but indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than fresh air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Poor air quality inside your home can cause you to have cold-like symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, runny nose or congestion, headaches, and more.
Maintaining proper care and seasonal maintenance on your air conditioning or HVAC unit is important as general care for you and your system. A well taken care of unit can help improve your air quality, if you follow some or all of these simple tips.
Change your air filter
This may sound like obvious advice, but changing your air filter every 1-3 months is paramount to sustaining air quality in your home. The more you use your air conditioner, the sooner it will need to be changed (once a month). This is because when your unit is running, it is pulling the air from the home and cycling it through the system to cool and filter it. If you don’t use your ac often, then the air isn’t being filtered as much, so you could wait until the second or third month of use to change the filter. Air filters remove the dust, dirt, pollen, and other particles in the air that can cause harm to your health.
Check your air ducts
Air ducts, like filters, can trap dust and pollutants. Periodically check your ducts to make sure that they are clear and not cycling polluted air back into your home. While checking for dirty ducts, inspect for holes or tears. Occasionally over time, these can appear, causing unfiltered air from outside to come inside.
Keep your unit clean
Air conditioners, like electronics, attract dust and pull debris towards them. Ensure that debris is cleared from your outdoor unit and sweep around the indoor component. A clean unit is a happy unit, or at least a well functioning one that keeps your air clear.
Even while keeping up with the proper maintenance and care of your unit, some pollutants may still linger. Other aspects to consider may be investing in a dehumidifier or an air purifier. A dehumidifier removes some of the moisture in the air and helps to control allergens that may be causing your symptoms. If you have major allergy or sinus issues, adding an air purifier to your home can help reduce the symptoms you are having.