A dirty air conditioner can result in more than just a general sense of uncleanliness. Left untreated, it can result in serious health problems with the respiratory system and allergies. It can also accelerate mold growth.
Householders may find the relatively complex AC system hard to diagnose without the maintenance services of HVAC professionals like Rowland Air. Check out our Ultimate Savings Agreement. But a few of the most common causes of dirty air conditioning can be quickly remedied — some with just a few lifestyle adjustments.
Leaving the thermostat fan on
A typical AC fan has two operational settings: “auto” and “on.” In “auto” mode, the fan operates only during certain times or room conditions. When it’s “on,” it doesn’t stop running until you turn it off.
Although leaving it “on” might make the room more comfortable, it circulates more dust, dirt, and contaminants through your AC unit. These particles accumulate on your air filter, getting it dirtier faster and making its lifespan shorter.
To avoid this, switch your AC fan to “auto” mode, or only turn it “on” when somebody’s actually in the house or room where it’s working.
An old or pleated air filter
Speaking of air filters: If it’s been a long time since you’ve replaced yours, there’s a good chance it’s spreading dirt. That’s common sense.
But there’s also a possibility that you’re using an air filter that gets dirtier more quickly. One-inch pleated air filters are built to capture more airborne particles. While they’re more effective against a bigger range of contaminants, that means they also fill up sooner.
One-inch pleated air filters are highly effective but need to be changed out more often. If that’s a problem, consider switching to a pleated filter that’s thicker than one inch, or a disposable filter made of fiberglass (which is also less expensive).
Leaky air ducts
A leaky air duct, especially if it’s close to your main air conditioning unit, can cause your air filter to clog in a hurry. It also makes your home lose much of the air that’s being conditioned — possibly as much as 30%. On top of all that, an untreated air duct leak can shoot your energy bill upward.
Hire an air conditioning professional like Rowland Air to fix the leaks, holes, or loose connections that may be in your air duct.
Dirty condenser coils
The condenser unit, in essence, cools the hot outside air before it travels through your home. That means, of course, that it’s located outside — where it’s exposed to more grime, dirt, and dust that all collect on the condenser coils.
In places that tend to get a lot of car traffic, like Southern California, condenser coils can get dirty in a hurry. That harms the heat transfer process and can cause heavy damage from wear and tear on your AC system.
Hairy or furry pets
Dogs, cats, and extremely woolly relatives shed a lot of hair. A lot of it goes straight into your AC system and onto the air filter, along with all the contaminants it may bring along for the ride. Keeping a routine of grooming, brushing and general maintenance on your pets can be of immense help.