Do you often feel the sniffles every time you’ve got your air conditioner running?
If this is a pattern you’ve noticed and are worried your AC unit is the cause of your allergies, here’s the good news: You can’t be allergic to your air conditioner.
On the flip side, if you keep feeling sick every time the air conditioner is switched on, there might be something in the air that’s triggering your allergies.
It’s no secret that your HVAC systems affect the quality of air in your home, especially when allergens accumulate inside. If you or your loved ones have certain allergies or are diagnosed with respiratory conditions like asthma, these allergens may trigger your symptoms.
Typical allergens include pollen, pet dander, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and mould spores—and here’s how your air conditioner could be exacerbating these.
When you live in warmer parts of the country, chances are that you’ll leave your air conditioning unit running for days at a time.
Every air conditioner has filters and other parts, which, while they run, are likely to accumulate all kinds of allergens. Your unit will most likely release these back into the air indoors, triggering your allergies.
If you’re considering getting your unit cleaned, here are a few parts you will want to focus your attention on.
If your filters aren’t cleaned or replaced regularly, they’ll become choked with dust. While dust, itself, is an allergen for many, it can also act as a breeding ground for another common allergen – dust mites.
Typically seasonal symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, runny eyes and itchy skin can be attributed to the dust accumulating in your air conditioner’s air filters.
Air conditioner ductwork can get very dirty after being used for years and a lot of moisture can accumulate inside them, creating a conducive environment for mould to grow in.
If the mould isn’t dealt with quickly, it can spread through the ducts, spreading its spores as it does. Even people who aren’t allergic to mould may experience flu-like symptoms when they’re exposed to these spores for too long.
If you want to try cleaning your air conditioner yourself, here’s what to do.
Once you’ve taken the filter out, cleaning it is relatively easy.
A clogged dust filter will likely be caked with dust, so you may need to use a low-powered vacuum cleaner to remove some of the loose dirt.
Place the filter on the ground carefully with its front-facing part upwards and gently vacuum the loose dust. If the dust is too stubborn, you can try using your vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment.
For more thorough cleaning, gently wash the filter with lukewarm water and leave it out to dry before reinstalling it.
First access the condensation pan and check if there is any water collecting in it; then, use a rag to clean up the water. Next, clean the pan using soap and water.
To clean the drain pipes, you’ll need a pipe cleaner or a small vacuum cleaner to remove whatever is clogging the pipe. A more thorough cleaning job can be complicated to pull off at home, so it’s best to leave this part to a professional.
After you locate the ducts, use a brush and detergent to clean the vents. Once that’s done, remove the vents and use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dust and then clean the walls using detergent and lukewarm water.
Cleaning out your ductwork is a heavy-duty job, and you’ll need special cleaning tools like a high-powered vacuum cleaner—something that most people are not likely to have around their homes.
In these instances, it’s best to call an experienced HVAC cleaning and servicing team.
A clean air conditioner means a pleasant home with clean air. If you’re feeling a little under the weather every time you switch your AC on, it’s high time to give your unit a thorough cleaning.
That said, cleaning an air conditioner can be complex when you don’t have the technical know-how. At Alliance Climate Control, we offer air conditioner cleaning and maintenance services to ensure your AC works perfectly and your home environment is healthy!