As your AC unit sucks in the air, small contaminants can begin to accumulate throughout the system over time. If you don’t clean your system regularly, such particles and pollutants will proceed to blow around your home. As a result, you and anyone else in your home may experience allergic reactions or several other adverse health consequences. To keep the air quality in your home as immaculate as possible, make sure to eliminate these contaminants by cleaning your AC unit.
One of the more obvious contaminants that can collect in your AC unit is dust. As the AC unit circulates the air throughout your home, any dust particles in the air will pass through the system. If you haven’t cleaned or changed the AC filter regularly, it may not catch the dust, allowing the particles to begin to accumulate.
In homes, dust largely consists of dead skin cells and small pieces of other forms of solid matter. This is not exactly something you want to inhale, especially because dust can often trigger an uncomfortable immune reaction. As such, you should make sure to clean your AC system at least once a year and change your filter in accordance with the directions in your unit’s owner’s manual.
In addition to dust, your AC system may also accumulate a group of dust mites if you don’t clean it regularly. Dust mites are microscopic organisms that feed on dust and are the primary causes of house dust allergies. Since dust mites thrive in warm, humid environments, they can live inside AC systems. Certain areas of an air conditioning system are warm, moist, and may contain lots of dust. These characteristics make them prime breeding grounds for these little insects. To prevent an army of dust mites from developing in your house, you should clean your AC unit at least once a year.
Another contaminant that can sit and amass in your air conditioner if you don’t clean it properly is mold. When an AC unit remains unused for an extended time, as is often the case throughout the winter, mold has the opportunity to grow and spread throughout the system. Then, when you go to turn your AC unit back on in the warmer months of the year, the spores from the mold blow around your house. As a result, you may notice a strange musty smell in the air or start to experience adverse health conditions, such as worsening asthma symptoms or eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation.
To avoid any health issues related to inhaling the mold spores from your AC unit, you need to have the system cleaned thoroughly. You’ll likely need to use a solution of hot water and household bleach, along with a scrubbing sponge, to kill the mold and prevent it from returning. Having a professional inspect the unit for potential mold growth after any substantial durations of dormancy will help you catch potential problems preemptively.
If you have pets in your home with fur or feathers, there’s a good chance that your AC system may accumulate some pet dander over time. The term “pet dander” refers to small, sometimes microscopic flecks of skin that animals like cats, dogs, birds, rodents, or other furry or feathered species shed. Your air conditioner can suck up these little particles and blow them throughout your home, which may trigger allergy symptoms. If you want to improve the air quality in your home, it’s therefore important to keep your air conditioner free of your pet’s dander.
Viruses are among the more harmful contaminants that can accumulate in your AC system. Viruses can move around freely in the air as the air conditioner blows them out. Moreover, any dust that collects in the system can serve as a fomite for them. In other words, the dust can carry the viruses and transport them around your home. To prevent the spread of infection and create a safer living space, take measures to clean your AC system and eliminate dust.
Besides viruses, bacteria can also collect in your AC unit and travel into your house from there. As the air conditioner pulls air over its coils, water vapor condenses within it. Since bacteria thrive in dark and moist environments, this water can cause bacteria to proliferate.
Fortunately, you can prevent the spread of bacteria in your home by properly maintaining your AC system and carefully cleaning its coils. Taking measures to clean your AC unit is particularly vital if you have a central system. Because all the vents connect to a single system, any bacteria growing inside of it will move throughout your entire household. Such a phenomenon is called sick building syndrome, and it threatens the health of everyone in your home.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure when at room temperature. Numerous solid or liquid sources often release them as gases. Examples of these sources include paints, household cleaners, disinfectant solutions, aerosol sprays, wood preservatives, and air fresheners. In many cases, VOCs significantly reduce the air quality in a home and create numerous negative short- and long-term health effects in residents, such as headaches, nausea, liver damage, nervous system damage, and even certain cancers. To avoid such health issues, you need to minimize VOCs in your home as much as possible. Since poor ventilation can contribute to elevated levels of volatile organic compounds in a home, taking measures to care for your AC system properly plays an integral role in reducing the presence of these harmful chemicals.
Now that you know to eliminate these contaminants by cleaning your AC unit, you may want to get a mini split system to help you do so. The Pioneer Mini Split Store is a leading provider of top-quality mini split systems. To help you acquire the system that’s right for your home, we offer a wide range of ducted and ductless mini splits for sale. From wall-mounted units to multi-zone systems, you can find it all here. To enjoy the energy efficiency, convenience, and sleek aesthetics that our systems provide, shop our online collection today.