Air conditioning systems are essential for maintaining comfortable indoor environments, especially during hot summer months. But did you know that they can also play a significant role in enhancing indoor air quality? In this blog post, we will explore how air conditioning systems can contribute to improving indoor air quality, creating healthier and more pleasant living spaces for you and your family.
Understanding the relationship between your AC and indoor air quality
While air conditioning’s primary function is to cool indoor spaces, it also indirectly impacts indoor air quality. Properly maintained AC systems can effectively reduce indoor air pollution and help create a more breathable and healthier atmosphere indoors. Without proper maintenance and without the addition of an air purifier to your HVAC system, your indoor air quality can deteriorate. You may ultimately suffer from air conditioning pollution, whereby your AC continuously circulates poor quality air.
Debunking common air conditioning myths
Myth: air conditioners bring outdoor air inside
Fact: This is false. Air conditioners actually recycle the air that is already present inside your home. The cooling process is achieved through refrigerants, fans, and evaporator coils, which maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Outdoor air is not brought into the home during this process, even if it may seem so because the air is “cool” and “fresh”.
Myth: air conditioners purify the air or filter pollution
Fact: This is also false. While air conditioners do have air filters located near the return air duct or air handler, they do not purify the air. The primary function of these filters is to trap dust, pollen, and other allergens. It’s important to note that the air filter is a component of the HVAC system, not the air conditioner itself. Choosing air filters with higher MERV ratings can enhance particle filtration, but the condensing unit itself does not clean indoor air.
Indoor air systems and air filtration
The benefits of AC filtration mechanisms
Modern air conditioning systems are equipped with air filters that efficiently trap dust, pollen, pet dander, and other airborne particles. These filters help improve indoor air quality by reducing the presence of allergens and pollutants. However, as stated above, this doesn’t mean that AC systems work with the same purpose or effect as air purification systems.
If your air conditioner is equipped with an ionizer, the filtration performance gets a boost as it introduces negative ions, further enhancing air quality. Remember, the AC unit’s primary function is to regulate air temperature. AC units don’t emit Hydrogen Peroxide, which is what some air purification devices use to purify air, and also don’t have high quality HEPA filters, which other air purifiers use to filter toxic particles out of the indoor air.
The importance of regular AC filter replacement
To ensure the air conditioning system continues to contribute positively to indoor air quality, it is crucial to adhere to a regular filter replacement schedule. Clean filters maintain optimal air circulation and filtration efficiency. A professional cleaning, at least once a year, ensures optimal performance and continues to provide you with clean and fresh indoor air. Keep your air conditioner in top shape to enjoy a healthier living environment.
Managing indoor humidity
AC systems play a critical role in managing indoor humidity. Although they are not dehumidifiers, they do affect the level of humidity in the air.
Air conditioning systems inherently dehumidify indoor air as they cool it. By removing excess moisture from the air, AC units help inhibit the growth of mold, mildew, and dust mites, which thrive in high humidity environments. The rate of dehumidification is slow, and as the primary purpose of an AC unit is to manage air temperature, you will need a dehumidifier to tackle issues of humidity in the home.
Preventing mold growth
Controlling indoor humidity through air conditioning helps prevent mold growth. Mold can release spores into the air and lead to respiratory issues. AC units can help to prevent mold growth, however they also pose a risk at spreading mold spores if an air purification device is not installed. The TADIRAN AIROW 3™ is an add-on device that has proven to reduce detectable aerosolized Blue Mold (Penicillium Citrinum) by 99.4% following a period of 180 minutes in a 25 meter cubic chamber. The technology can work with your AC unit to stop mold from spreading around your home by hijacking the airflows created by your AC.
AC units can also unfortunately become the source of mold growth if left unchecked. Some AC filtration systems can create stagnant water, which contributes to dampness, and which can encourage mold growth indoors. This is an additional reason why regular maintenance of your AC unit is crucial in the fight against mold.
AC ventilation and fresh air intake
Fresh air exchange
While air conditioning systems recycle and cool indoor air, they can be integrated with ventilation systems to bring in fresh outdoor air. Proper ventilation helps dilute indoor pollutants and improves overall air quality.
Open windows vs. AC
During periods of low outdoor pollution, opening windows can allow fresh air to circulate. It is important to note that in some areas, this is not a viable option, particularly where outdoor air quality is poor or even harmful to human health, or during seasons where pollen and other allergens can be triggering to some people. In this instance, an air purification system like the TADIRAN AIROW 3™ offers a much more practical solution in purifying indoor air and creating a “fresh air” experience.
Does air conditioning improve air quality?
Yes! But, as we’ve explored above, probably not in the way you might think. Your air conditioning system does more than just cool your home; it plays an important role in enhancing indoor air quality and in supporting add-on air purifiers like the TADIRAN AIROW 3™ in purifying indoor air. By optimizing your AC unit, you can benefit from partial air filtration, better management of indoor humidity, and, ultimately, a healthier living environment for you and your family. Regular maintenance and filter replacements are key to ensuring your AC system continues to improve indoor air quality effectively. Adding your TADIRAN AIROW 3™ air purification device will allow you to actively purify your home and help enhance indoor air quality.