Can air conditioners spread allergens?
The answer is yes, they can. If not cleaned and properly maintained, they can put allergens into the air which contribute to a myriad of health issues namely those dealing with respiration such as allergies and asthma.
A dirty air conditioner filter prevents cool air from flowing. It takes trapped dirt, dust, dander, and pollen and distributes it throughout a room. People who spend time in the space breathe in the air and develop allergies in the process. Investing in regular AC cleaning prevents that problem from occurring.
It prevents the spreading of pollutants throughout the home. It does not, however, eliminate them. In order to do that, you must first identify the source of the problem and do your part to get rid of it before it worsens. The next section addresses the top in-home allergens so you can determine if they’re what is causing you or a family member’s allergies to worsen.
The Top In-Home Allergens
To better understand what you’re up against, it’s important to know what causes allergens to build up inside the home. Among the biggest culprit is a dirty air conditioner filter which is easily taken care of with AC cleaning. Replacing the filter every few weeks is highly recommended with the frequency increasing in homes with pets.
Other allergens that cause concern include:
- Cigarette Smoke. Second-hand smoke can cause respiratory problems in children and adults. It can also be problematic for pets. Asking that all smokers take their cigarettes and vape pens outdoors to smoke keeps the nicotine out of the home and lungs of the residence’s occupants. Most people have no issue smoking or vaping outdoors especially if the person they are visiting requests that they do so.
- Dust Mites. The parasites live in linens and gather on clothing and toys that sit untouched for a while. The best way to deal with them is to clean and vacuum the home regularly. It’s impossible to get rid of them completely but you can reduce the problems caused by the dust mites significantly by dusting, vacuuming, and washing sheets, pillowcases, and blankets frequently. Creating a weekly cleaning schedule for yourself helps you take care of all the potentially problematic areas inside the home.
- Mold. Using a dehumidifier inside the home helps reduce instances of mold. When it’s warm, dark, and damp in a room, spores appear. Hiring a professional to tackle a mold problem before it worsens is imperative. Mold is the type of problem that can get a home condemned if it gets bad enough.
- Pollen. Ensuring that your doors and windows have screens on them is one way to keep pollen out. Keeping your AC unit’s filter clean at all times does, too. Investing in the right size of filter for the make and model of air conditioner that you have makes it easier to trap pollutants and keep them from entering your home, nostrils, and mouth while you breathe.
- Pet Dander. Like dust mites, you can’t avoid a pet that sheds. If your dog or cat has long hair, make sure to brush them outdoors regularly. You’ll also want to sweep, dust, and vacuum on a routine basis. Cleaning the pet’s bedding also helps eliminate traces of hair and dander which cause a lot of people’s allergies to kick in.
- Toxic Chemical Cleaning Supplies. Switching to all-natural, organic cleaning products eliminates the level of toxicity inside the home. Individuals with chemical sensitivities notice a distinct difference in how they feel and breathe once commercial cleaners are banned from the residence. Common kitchen ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar are often used in many DIY cleaning recipes. They’re all-natural and not something that aggravates or creates allergies for people.
An indoor air quality test allows you to better understand what could be triggering you or your family member’s allergies. It makes it easier to eliminate the source of the problem by repairing a broken AC unit. AC repair makes the unit work more efficiently at eliminating the issue of indoor allergens.
Making sure that your air conditioner isn’t doing more harm than good is your responsibility. By learning what to do to keep your unit working optimally, you eliminate many of the problems caused by pollutants inside the home. You also protect your investment by keeping your AC in good working order so you can continue to use it for years without replacing it.
What You Can Do to Keep Your AC Running Well
There are things you can do to keep your AC in good working order. The first is to not put off AC repair. If you know that your air conditioner isn’t doing its job, it’s time to call in a professional. The fix could be as simple as air duct cleaning.
Staying on top of routine maintenance prevents your air conditioner from freezing up and running up your home energy bills. An AC can run non-stop, not put out cool air, cause an electric bill to skyrocket, and burn out its motor rendering the unit useless.
That’s why you should take a look at the unit routinely, remove anything blocking its air flow, switch out its filter, and have a technician service it before using it full-time in the hotter months of the year. You’re able to prolong the lifespan of the AC that way and keep yourself from paying exorbitant costs to the electric company.
What AC Maintenance Entails
If you’re unsure of what hiring a professional to perform maintenance on your air conditioning unit entails, don’t worry. Anyone who hasn’t had the experience of working with an expert isn’t sure what to expect. A company such as Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling puts your mind to ease right away by remaining communicative throughout the maintenance process.
Before an air conditioner is turned on for the first time for the season, a technician comes out and takes a look at the unit. They remove the air filter and replace it with a new one. They check coolant levels to make sure they are adequate enough to cool your size of home for the duration of the summer.
The tech turns the air conditioner on to make sure that it gets to the desired temperature right away. They also note any strange sounds the AC makes or smells that come out of the unit. If a repair must be done to get the air conditioner back in good working order, the professional does it on the spot as long as they have the replacement part in stock.
Addressing common furnace problems is something else that we do in addition to repairing a broken AC unit and performing routine AC maintenance. Having a company you can trust to take care of your air conditioning and heating needs is essential as a homeowner. It ensures that your home remains a comfortable temperature year-round.
Contact Us to Schedule AC Unit Cleaning Today
It is highly recommended to contact Anthony Heating and Cooling to set up a time for AC unit check and cleaning. Doing so helps you remove existing allergens from the home and prevent future problems from occurring. Contact us today at 913-268-4669.
Efficient air conditioners can seem like a luxury in the hot, scorching summers of Kansas City.
Keep enjoying a cool home and ensure your unit is well maintained by getting the necessary repairs before the hot weather hits. Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in Kansas City, MO, provide reliable heating and cooling services to homeowners and businesses in KC.
Our licensed and certified technicians have years of expertise in AC repair or replacement using modern equipment and tools to get the job done to your satisfaction. More importantly, knowing how your air conditioning unit works helps you to determine when it needs maintenance, repair, or replacement.
What is an Air Conditioner?
An air conditioner is a system of equipment that converts warm air into cool air and distributes or circulates it throughout the rooms in your home or office; this is done using energy or electricity and the processes of refrigeration, evaporation and condensation. The amount of energy needed to do this depends on the brand or model of the unit.
Older units typically use more energy to cool the same square footage of space compared to the newer models. The high-efficiency units we install use far less energy to provide cool air, saving you a ton of money in the long run. You can get one installed if your current unit has been costing you too much money to repair or has stopped working.
Types of Air Conditioning Systems
There are generally two different types of AC systems. They are room air conditioners and central air conditioners. Then there is the ductless, mini-split unit which is a hybrid air conditioner. Central AC units can be a split system or packaged unit but they both work similarly and function efficiently to provide cool air.
Split-System Central Air Conditioner
The main parts of the split-system central air conditioner are the outdoor unit, the indoor unit, and the thermostat to control the temperature. The outdoor unit or cabinet contains the compressor, fan, condenser coil, and electrical parts. The indoor unit cabinet houses the evaporator and evaporator coil and may also contain a furnace. Otherwise, the coil is installed at the top of the gas furnace in the home.
The outdoor and indoor units are connected by pipes and the refrigeration lines that contain a gas called the refrigerant. When installing the AC system, ducts are placed throughout the home and function as air tunnels. Finally, a thermostat is installed, usually on the wall in one of the rooms. It is used to set the room temperature as desired.
Packaged Central Air Conditioner
With the packaged central air conditioner, the compressor, condenser, and evaporator are all housed in one unit. It also usually contains a natural gas furnace or electric heating coils. The cabinet may be placed on a concrete slab outside the home or business or on the roof. The ducts are placed through openings in the roof or exterior walls of the building and then connected to the unit. With the furnace or heating coils and the evaporator, this type of AC unit removes the need for an indoor furnace. It also saves on indoor living space.
How Air Conditioners Work to Provide Cool Air
Air conditioners are installed in three-quarters of all homes in the US, yet many people do not know how this important piece of cooling equipment works. The science behind how it works is generally the same but there may be unique differences depending on the type of unit installed.
The refrigeration lines built into the unit are largely responsible for the cycle of cool air that comes through the unit. But each component of the system provides a special function that helps cool the air.
The Cooling Cycle
The refrigerant flows through the refrigeration lines between the indoor and outdoor units of the central AC system. When the AC is turned on, the fan in the outdoor unit will spin and pull warm air from inside the home through the vent and into the ductwork.
The gas refrigerant is vaporized or compressed by the compressor and pumped onto the condenser coil in the outdoor unit, then released to the evaporator coil in the indoor cabinet.
The evaporator coil absorbs the heat in the air and cools it. The cool air flows through the connected ducts and escapes through the vents connected to the HVAC system. This refrigeration cycle continues over and over to lower the temperature and cool the room to match the setting on the thermostat.
Common Air Conditioner Problems
The last thing you want to happen during the hot summer days is for your window, room, or central AC unit to malfunction or stop blowing cool air. Some of the most common problems with these cooling units our technicians have seen and fixed are:
- Clogged filter
- Thermostat isn’t working
- Leaking refrigerant
- Burnt out capacitors
- Dirty condenser coils
- Compressor not working
- Refrigerant needs refilling
- Problems with the breakers or fuse
- Filthy or clogged condensate drain lines
- Worn out fins
When to Get Air Conditioner Repairs in Kansas City
Other times, the problems are an indication that the system needs maintenance or repairs. Your unit may need repairs if any of these problems are present:
- Leaking refrigerant
- The unit blows hot air
- Increase in humidity in the rooms
- Noisy unit, e.g., loud grinding, grating, or squealing sounds
- Pungent, musty, or burnt smell coming from the unit
Skip the DIY and Call the Air Conditioner Repair Experts
The heating and cooling system installed in your home or office are complex. If an AC problem occurs, you may be tempted to try and fix them yourself; however, to avoid causing any damage to the system, it is best to call in the air conditioner repair professionals at Anthonys PHC.
They are available 24/7 to ensure you remain in cool comfort. Having years of expertise diagnosing problems in various types of AC systems, our experts can easily identify what’s causing the problem and recommend repairs if needed. Armed with state-of-the-art tools and equipment, they’ll get your unit working again in no time!
When to Replace Your Air Conditioning Unit
There are times when the only economical thing to do is to replace your AC or cooling system. If any of the following applies you, it may be time to upgrade to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner installed by Anthonys PHC:
- The unit is old (10-15 years)
- It stops working efficiently
- Frequent and expensive repairs
- Energy bills keep rising
- It’s not the right size for your home
Call to make an appointment for AC repair or replacement in Kansas City
If you’re experiencing one or more of the common AC problems, call the AC repair professionals at Anthonys PHC in Kansas City, MO. We provide HVAC services to satisfy the heating and cooling needs of customers in KC. Our technicians are skilled in servicing and repairing various types of cooling units and will run a complete diagnosis to determine the problem.
We can also replace your unit if it’s broken, reached the end of its lifespan, or you simply want to upgrade to central air. We install all major brands of air conditioners capable of maintaining inside when it’s 100° outside. Plus we’re on call 24/7 and for emergency services. Call 913-353-8444 or 816-407-8444 today! Ask about the 2-year money-back guarantee policy on our air conditioners.
When summer arrives, those of us who live here in Kansas City know almost immediately. The temperature starts rising rapidly, sending us all indoors to the blessing of your air conditioner and a nice cool home.
Getting your air conditioner ready for the high temperatures is important to ensure you’re comfortable as the temperature rises. Here are a few tips from Anthony’s Heating and Cooling to get your AC unit ready.
#1 Clear Your Outside Unit
Before you start the AC up, you need to make sure the outside unit is clear of debris and other obstacles. Rake up any leaves that became trapped in the unit’s grills or vents. Cut back any plants that are blocking the air flow around the unit. Remove weeds and other unwanted plant growth near the unit.
Make sure you or an AC technician can access all sides of the unit easily. Remove any obstacles that make it difficult to access the unit.
If you covered the unit to protect it during the winter, remove the cover before you try the AC. A common reason for Kansas City air conditioner repair in the summer is running the AC while having a cover over the outside unit. This can cause severe damage to the unit and can be quite costly to repair or replace.
Check Refrigerant Lines
There are two refrigerant lines going into the house from the outside unit. The smaller one sends the refrigerant into the house while the larger one brings it back out. Make sure both lines are straight and undamaged. If there is any damage, call for AC repair immediately.
The larger line should have insulation around the entire run of the pipe going from the outside unit to the side of the house. This helps keep the refrigerant cold as it arrives into the outside unit. This improves efficiency and prevents damage to the outside unit. If the insulation is damaged or missing, replace it. You can get inexpensive insulation sleeves at any hardware or home improvement center.
The smaller line does not require insulation, though it will not hurt to have it in place.
Change Your Air Filters
To run properly, your AC needs a clean flow of air. Filters help keep dust and debris from getting into the AC unit. However, if the filter is clogged, airflow gets slowed down or blocked, which can cause the AC to work harder than necessary. This is a common reason for a broken air conditioner.
Before starting the AC for the first time, change or clean the air filter. Then, at least once a month, check the filter to make sure it’s not clogged. Change or clean as needed.
You can purchase air filters at your local big box store or home improvement store. It’s a good idea to have a few on hand so that you won’t run out.
Clear Your Condensate Drain
Your inside air handler has a pan beneath it with a drain attached. When warmer air hits the cooler surface of the coils, water will condensate on the exterior. This water drips off into the condensate pan below. That water then goes down the drain and outside the house. If that drain isn’t in place or is clogged, you may have water flowing out of the pan onto the floor.
Make sure the drain is firmly attached to the tray. Also, check where it comes out of the house to make sure it’s still intact and that there’s nothing blocking it.
Pour a small cup of water down the drain to make sure it’s flowing freely down and out of the house. If it isn’t, you may have a clog. You can use a shop vacuum to try to clear the clog. Place the vacuum hose over the end of the drain pipe outside, and turn the vacuum on. Use your hand to close the end of the hose over the pipe for enhanced suction. Run for a few minutes, then check the drain to see if the clog is gone.
Pouring a 1/4 cup of vinegar down the drain can help prevent algae and mold growth.
Clear and Clean Your Vents and Grills
Walk through your house and locate the supply vents and return grills for your air conditioner. Remove anything obstructing the front of them, such as curtains, furniture, and toys. Airflow restriction can cause the unit to work hard, causing excessive wear and tear and avoidable costly repairs.
After removing obstructions, use a vacuum attachment to remove dust and debris from the vents and grills. You don’t want the dust getting blown into the house and it doesn’t need to get sucked into the AC unit either.
While you are cleaning the vents and grills, take a moment to assess the inside of your ducts. If you see holes or split seams, you need to have an AC expert make repairs. Every opening in the ducts allows cooled air to escape, driving up your energy costs. If the inside of the ducts are dusty or show signs of mold, you need to have them cleaned.
Change the Batteries on Your Thermostat
Many thermostats have a battery backup to make sure they work even if the electricity is off. The spring is a good time to change the batteries for fresh ones. While you are at the thermostat, take a moment to dust it. Accumulated dust can interfere with the thermostat’s ability to detect the room temperature.
Also, if you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, spring is the perfect time to have one installed. A programmable thermostat allows you to automatically control the house’s temperature at any time, day or night. You can have the temperature higher when you are gone during the day and have it cool down just before you get home. It will lower your energy bill without compromising your comfort.
Schedule Spring Maintenance
A common cause for Kansas City air conditioner repair is delayed maintenance. Your AC unit requires routine maintenance to run effectively and efficiently. Delaying maintenance can cause minor issues to become major ones; costly AC problems could be avoided. Delayed maintenance also shortens the expected lifespan of the entire system.
Spring is an excellent time to get routine maintenance performed. The technician will clean the unit, make sure it’s properly calibrated, and check for any problems. Resolving minor issues early will prevent costly AC repair in the future.
Consider signing up for an annual maintenance program. You get an annual tune-up for your cooling system and discounts on repairs if needed.