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How Air Conditioners Help to Improve Indoor Air Quality

It is estimated that the air inside our homes is up to ten times more contaminated than the air outside – a concerning figure given that Australians spend up to 90% of our time indoors on average.

Contaminated air can cause a variety of negative health effects, including symptoms known as “sick building syndrome” (SBS), which can result in short-term irritation and long-term chronic illnesses if not addressed. According to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, SBS could cost Australia up to $12 billion.

What’s the answer? Here’s how high-quality split-system air conditioners can help to improve air quality in your home, making it healthier, warmer, and dryer.

 

How do we define clean air? 

Clean air is defined as air that is free of pollutants that can harm our lungs and bodies. A typical home generates and collects 40 pounds of dust per year. Dust mites move in to feast on all of that waste, resulting in yet another common allergen.

Pet hair and dander accumulate in your home as a result of having pets. Household cleaners and chemicals, as well as off-gases from new furniture or carpet, and residual fumes from things like paint, all contribute to the pollutant load. Bacteria, viruses, smoke, cooking odors, outdoor pollen, mold, and fungi can also be found in the average home.

Because of the lower levels of ventilation, these common pollutants tend to linger in the air much longer inside than outside. At first, living with these irritants may cause mild symptoms such as skin, eye, and throat irritation. headache, drowsiness, and irritability

However, if you continue to live in a home with polluted air, you may be more susceptible to chronic illnesses such as cancer and respiratory diseases. If you suspect your home has poor air quality, it is critical that you act quickly for your own and your family’s health.

 

Myths About Air Conditioning

Air conditioners bring in fresh air from outside.

False. Air conditioners reuse the air that is already in your home. The cool air that passes through the A/C unit while it is running is the result of refrigerants, fans, and evaporator coils. It is not the result of bringing in outside air into the house.

Air conditioners either purify the air or filter pollution.

False. Air conditioners cannot and do not purify the air they circulate. Dust, pollen, and other allergens are filtered by the air filter located near the return air duct or air handler. However, it is a common misconception that the air filter is a component of the air conditioner; rather, air filters are a component of the entire HVAC system. Higher-rated air filters can filter more particles and finer particles than lower-rated air filters. Yes, air filter selection is important–but no, the condensing unit does not clean indoor air.

 

How do air conditioners improve indoor air quality?

Your split-system air conditioner’s primary function is to keep your home at a comfortable, healthy temperature all year. However, due to the intelligent design of some modern air conditioners, they can also help to maintain healthy air in your home by removing pollutants and irritants.

This happens when air is drawn into your indoor unit and circulated throughout the system. The air is filtered to remove large particles and allergens such as pet hair, as well as smaller irritants such as pollen, dust, or odors.

While most modern air conditioners remove larger particles, many do not have fine enough filters to remove smaller irritants like pollen. To be sure, check with the manufacturer of your unit or read your air conditioner’s manual.

Air conditioners also help to improve ventilation in your home by constantly circulating air. This can help to reduce the level of irritants in your home while also drying the air. This can lower the humidity level in your home, lowering the risk of harmful moulds taking hold and spreading.

 

Keeping your air conditioner’s filters clean

It’s a good idea to perform regular maintenance on your air conditioner to ensure it’s running as efficiently as possible and effectively cleaning your air. A yearly service is essential, as is cleaning your air filters every two weeks.

 

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