It’s a common question during the hot summer months: does air conditioning help indoor air quality? The answer may surprise you. While air conditioners do help to circulate and filter air, they can also circulate mold, bacteria, and other allergens.
In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air conditioners can actually make indoor air quality worse. There are a few things you can do to improve indoor air quality, even with an air conditioner. Make sure to regularly clean your air conditioner’s filter and vent. You can also keep your home clean and free of dust and mold.
How Does an Air Conditioner Actually Work?
The air conditioner in your home works in much the same way as the one in your car. It uses a chemical refrigerant that evaporates and condenses to move heat.
The refrigerant starts off as a cool liquid. The air conditioner’s compressor pumps the refrigerant through a series of coils. As the refrigerant passes through the coils, it evaporates into a gas.
As the refrigerant evaporates, it absorbs heat from the air around it. This is why the coils that the refrigerant passes through are located inside your home. The refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air in your home and then evaporates into a gas.
Once the refrigerant is a gas, it passes through another set of coils. These coils are located outside your home. As the refrigerant passes through the coils, it condenses back into a liquid.
As the refrigerant condenses, it releases the heat it absorbed from your home. This is why the coils that the refrigerant passes through are located outside your home. The heat is released into the air outside, and the refrigerant is cooled down and turned back into a liquid.
The refrigerant is then pumped back into the coils inside your home, and the cycle starts over again.
If you’re concerned about indoor air quality, there are a few other myths about air conditioners that you should know about. Here are four other common AC myths.
1. Air conditioners Use a Lot of Energy and are Bad for the Environment
While it is true that air conditioners use a fair amount of energy, they are actually much more efficient than they used to be. Newer models can use up to 50% less energy than older models, so they are not as bad for the environment as you might think.
2. Air Conditioners Cause Dehydration
This is a myth that is actually based on some truth. Air conditioners do circulate drier air around a room, which can lead to dehydration. However, this is only a problem if you are not drinking enough fluids. If you are properly hydrated, you will not experience any dehydration from an air conditioner.
3. Turn Your Temperature Lower for Quicker Cooling
This is a myth. The temperature of your air conditioner does not affect how quickly it cools your home. In fact, turning your air conditioner down lower than usual can actually make it take longer to cool your home. This is because your air conditioner has to work harder to remove the heat from your home.
4. Close the Vents in Rooms You Don’t Use
Usually this does not save energy. The way a residential heating and cooling system is designed, the air handler (or blower) moves a certain amount of air no matter which vents are opened or closed. Closing registers may reduce the total air moved by the blower, which reduces its efficiency.
Air conditioning does help improve indoor air quality by filtering out pollen, dust, and other airborne particles. However, it is important to ensure that your AC unit is properly maintained and cleaned to prevent the spread of mold, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms. Additionally, while AC units can help reduce the overall temperature of a room, they will not necessarily eliminate all humidity. Therefore, it is still important to ventilate your home to prevent the build-up of excessive moisture.
AutumnAir is a family-owned HVAC and AC repair and replacement provider for both residential and commercial needs. If you are looking for heating and cooling services in Birmingham, reach out to us today!