No matter how many steps you take to keep your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) high, they’ll be undermined if you don’t keep your AC equipment clean. It starts with a new air filter, whenever the old one is clogged, and ends with a professional AC service that keeps your central system clean. While clean equipment goes a long way toward clean air, there are other factors that go a long way toward improving your IAQ. Southern Florida residents, here’s what you need to know:
Importance of Air Filters
When you keep your system’s air filter clean, you’ll have fewer airborne particulates. And if you use a filter with the highest MERV rating (minimum efficiency reporting value), the air will be even cleaner. In fact, a filter’s MERV rating tells you what the smallest particles are and what that specific filter will trap. When you remove smaller particles, like mold spores, pollen, and dander, your IAQ will be much higher.
Before selecting a higher quality filter, check the owner’s manual or ask Cousin's Air, Inc. what the maximum MERV-rated filter is for your system. However, if the filter is too dense, then it could harm the motor and electronic components inside the equipment.
Value of Professional AC Service
Over the course of a year, your AC system handles tons of air and debris — with some of the particulates sneaking past the filter, depositing themselves on the parts inside of your air handler. During the summer months, the evaporator coil inside the air handler condenses a lot of water, which promotes mold growth on and near the drain pan and the coil itself.
Without professional service, it’s hard to reach those components and clean them thoroughly. An AC pro from Cousin's Air, Inc. will remove any dust, mold, or biological growths from the air handler and make sure the drain pan and drainpipe are clean. Without such cleaning, your energy costs will increase, and your IAQ will plummet.
Watch out for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
VOCs come from everyday household products, building and remodeling projects, vehicles, and anything that contains perfumes. Watch out for air fresheners, air sprays, candles, cleaning products, and building products that aren’t labeled as clean air compliant. Some VOCs have strong odors, while others do not. The rule of thumb to determine whether something might have VOCs is to always check the label of the product before use.
Volatile organic compounds harm the air because the chemicals inside them degrade human and animal health. They can cause minor irritations from respiratory issues to major problems like cancer, nervous system disorders and organ failure. Luckily, there are now many products that are either VOC-free or have low amounts.
In general, avoid using perfumed products, including wax-based candles, cleaning products that use chemicals and new paint, flooring, finishes, and furniture that’s not labeled as VOC-free. Natural cleaners are easy to make and can be used effectively. If you’re set on burning candles, then it’s best to choose soy or beeswax-based candles and use essential oils instead of chemically-based perfumes. Additionally, vinegar and baking soda are natural deodorizers and make a great alternative to spray fresheners.
Consider Air Cleaners or Purifiers
AC professionals have a variety of air cleaning and purification products you can attach to your system that will clear the air of bacteria, viruses and other biological contaminants. UV (ultraviolet) lights, electronic air cleaners, and REME lights are a few of the many effective ways to restrict the growth and spread of anything organic, including VOCs. Not only will these keep your IAQ in great condition, but you’ll instantly feel the air quality difference within minutes.
If you feel as though your indoor air quality has seen better days, then it’s time to schedule an AC maintenance appointment with Cousin's Air, Inc. today. To schedule your service, call us at (954) 228-5965 and a certified technician will pay a visit to check the problem and safely correct it with ease!