How Your A/C Affects Your Air Quality

the interior of a home

If you’re one of the many people working from home, and as a result spending a lot of time indoors, your air quality could have a significant impact on your health.

During the hot summers, Texans usually shut up their homes as much as possible to prevent any cool air from escaping and keep it that way. As a result, many of us end up breathing air specifically delivered through our air conditioner.

If you notice your air quality worsening, it might be time to take a look at your reliable air conditioner.

Why Air Quality Is Important

While spending time indoors, we end up breathing air almost exclusively circulated through our air conditioners. When the A/C has an issue that starts to affect air quality, you’ll probably start to notice right away.

Signs of poor air quality can include excessive dust in your home, and aggravated allergies or asthma symptoms. If you start experiencing these issues, your indoor air quality is likely not as clean as it should be and already impacting your health.

In these cases, it’s better to fix the problem sooner rather than later in order to avoid additional unwanted issues.

A/C Issues To Look For

If you’re already experiencing poor air quality, your A/C is a good place to start looking for a remedy. If you aren’t sure where to start, try checking for these common issues:

Dirty Filter

It’s best to change your air filter every month or so, but many of us put off this quick task. If you haven’t changed your filter in a while and start experiencing poor air quality, this is the first place you should look.

Your air filter filters out any “debris” in your air, such as pet hair, dust, and other common household contaminants. If it gets clogged, not only is your air being circulated through all that accumulated debris, but your A/C will experience extra wear as well, since it has to work harder to move air through clogged filters than through clean ones.

Strange Noises

If you hear any loud or persistent noises coming from your air conditioner while it’s running, this is likely a sign that something is either broken or not running as it should.

These noises could be grinding, rattling, whistling, or something else. If you experience this issue you should contact an HVAC repair technician to have your unit looked at. If you need help describing the sounds you hear to your technician, check out the information here: Loud A/C: Causes and Solutions.

Strange Odors

Strange odors can be just as much an indicator that something’s wrong with your A/C system as strange sounds, so pay attention if you smell something off.

Odors due to a problem with your air conditioner can be anything from a musty smell that could be due to a dirty filter to a burning smell that could be caused by a major malfunction.

If a musty smell persists after changing the filter, it’s time to call a professional to check for mold. If you smell burning or gas from your A/C you should shut it off and call an A/C repair technician right away.

Duct Problems

A leak in your ductwork could be causing dusty air to be distributed throughout your home. At the very least, you could be losing cool air through the leak, costing you extra on your utility bills due to the extra cooling needed to keep your home comfortable.

For any ductwork issues, be sure to contact a professional for a consultation regarding the best action going forward.

Excess Water

If your air conditioner is creating an excessive amount of condensation or leaking, it can cause a musty smell or even mold or mildew in the area where the liquid appears. Contact your technician if you notice excess water coming from your A/C so they can help find a quick solution.

Old Equipment

Modern A/C units use newer technology designed to help promote air quality throughout the unit’s lifetime. Older units built before this technology was available can have a negative impact on your air quality, especially as they age.

If you have an old unit, it’s a good idea to start planning for an upgrade eventually. Modern units not only deliver cleaner air for longer, they are also more energy efficient. That energy efficiency can help lower utility costs significantly over time.

How To Keep Problems From Recurring

Once you’ve identified what’s causing your poor air quality and had it fixed, you likely don’t want to go through the entire detective process again.

Besides your own vigilance, one of the best ways to prevent issues with your air conditioner is to have a regular maintenance plan. Many HVAC companies offer annual or semi-annual maintenance plans.

These involve having a technician scheduled to come check your entire HVAC system on a scheduled basis instead of you having to request appointments. HVAC technicians use these scheduled appointments to check your system and make sure it’s running as it should.

If something isn’t working, or is about to fail, technicians can catch the problem and repair it before it becomes a major issue that leaves you without air conditioning.

Are you experiencing air quality issues? Is your system due for a check up to make sure it’s running at peak efficiency? Contact the experts at AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning, a San Marcos based HVAC company, to make an appointment today.