Why Your Home Is Dusty And How HVAC Maintenance Can Help
Have you noticed your home becoming dustier than usual? Your HVAC system may be the issue. Read on to find out how a poorly maintained air conditioner can cause dust to accumulate and what you can do about it.
The effects of dust on your HVAC system
Dust can affect your HVAC system in many ways, resulting in varying degrees of damage. Remember that the typical AC unit has a vacuum function that sucks in air from your home’s interior. While this is crucial for proper functioning, it also causes the system to suck in dust and dirt.
You might think this wouldn’t be a problem because of the filter. But while the filter does catch a lot of foreign matter, some of it is bound to pass through. Given enough time, this will result in the following:
- Reduced reliability and overall performance of your air conditioning system
- Wear and tear and long-term damage that can be costly to repair
- Reduced energy efficiency which leads to higher bills
- Dirt and dust in your home make for an unpleasant living space and possible health problems
Dust, air conditioners, and your health
Excessive dust not only affects your AC system and the pleasantness of your home. When the issue is unaddressed, it could also cause serious health problems for the people in the household. This can be especially dangerous for people with underlying conditions or those prone to illness and disease, such as the elderly and young children.
The more dust your air conditioner collects, the more likely it is to disperse dust particles throughout your home. When that happens, the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory problems increases considerably. And if you have an elderly family member in the house or someone with chronic respiratory issues, the situation is akin to a ticking time bomb.
You don’t have to be chronically ill to experience negative effects from excessive dust. A dusty environment is the ideal breeding ground for dust mites, which can trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. If you or anyone in your family experiences itching, hay fever, sneezing, and runny noses frequently, a dusty HVAC system might be the culprit.
Should you have your AC cleaned?
The condenser and the filter are two components of a typical air conditioner that collect dust. As previously mentioned, the filter is primarily responsible for catching dust but isn’t entirely foolproof. Over time, these components will have to be cleaned if you want to reduce the amount of dust your system disperses throughout your home.
How do you know if you need to have your AC cleaned? Impaired performance is a dead giveaway, as is an unusually high volume of dust emanating from your ducts. But ultimately, only you can tell when it is almost due for a thorough cleaning, based on the system’s previous history and your observations.
Remember that having an HVAC system cleaned can be costly, especially for larger and more complicated units. You don’t necessarily want to call in the technicians too often, as this can be expensive. You should weigh the expense and inconvenience of cleaning against the potential issues that a dusty HVAC system can cause.
Here’s how to check if your air conditioner needs cleaning:
- Inspect your return air registers by opening them
- Check the air filter for dust and dirt buildup
- Check the blades of your ceiling fans
- Remove your AC’s condenser panel and check for the presence of dirt and dust
You can perform most of these checks yourself, even if you have no experience with air conditioner maintenance. Don’t worry‒they’re fairly easy to do, and you will get used to doing it over time.
When to call in the professionals
While removing dust from easily accessible areas is well within the capabilities of most people, more intensive cleaning will require professional cleaners. At some point, you will have to face up to the fact that only a dedicated cleaning crew can restore the optimum function of your unit.
Don’t begrudge the added cost of having your HVAC system cleaned periodically. Think of it as a necessary expenditure to ensure the continued good health of everyone in your household. The price will surely be worth it for the peace of mind it gives you in the long run.
J.A. Bertsch Heating & Cooling offers professional residential air conditioning services throughout Kootenai County. Our licensed A/C technicians cover all of North Idaho and our neighboring cities. Experience superior, award-winning service 24/7. Call us at (208) 635-5480 to get started with your professional help!