Breath of Fresh Air: Indoor Air Quality and Your AC System


Because people spend 90 percent of each day indoors, and 65 percent of that time in their climate-controlled homes, put good indoor air quality (IAQ) at the top of your priority lists. Keep your IAQ at its peak by knowing what your air conditioner should (and shouldn’t) be doing during the summer months.

Air conditioners are designed to ventilate your home, minimize particulates and pollution in indoor air, and keep down humidity levels in the home. When your air conditioner is doing its job, you have good IAQ, bolstering your family’s health and creating comfort in the home. As reported in this infographic published by Air Experts Heating & Cooling, indoor pollution has three major causes: particles and allergens, germs and infectious agents, and chemical gases and odors. Because pollutants can be as much as 2.5 times more concentrated inside the home than outside it, indoor pollutants are among the most serious environmental risks to public health.

How can you create good IAQ in your home? To start with, pay special attention to humidity. High levels of humidity are a significant barrier to good IAQ because air pollutants easily accumulate in a humid environment. Accordingly, have an HVAC professional check your air conditioner every year before summer arrives to ensure that it functions properly and that your air ducts are sealed. Regularly change your air conditioner’s filters in accordance with the manufacturer’s table, using only high-quality replacement filters. Also, take particular care to keep debris from collecting on AC vents — and don’t forget to regularly brush and groom family pets.