Have you ever sat on a beach or wandered through a beautiful, green conservancy and thought how wonderful it was to breathe the fresh, clean air? It makes us feel alive and rejuvenated!
Sadly though, one of the most significant problems in our modern world is the quality of the air we breathe. Did you know that poor quality air accounts for a staggering 4.2 million deaths per year? It affects our health in ways that we aren’t always aware of and can have long term effects on both ourselves and our families.
How do we make sure the air that we are breathing is as clean as possible, especially in our homes?
Thankfully, there are positive steps we can take to ensure cleaner air. Would you like to know more?
The Sad Facts About Air Pollution
While poor air quality is a big problem, it’s one we have almost no control over. Some of the health concerns linked to pollution and contaminated air are:
- Respiratory and lung issues
- Cardiac conditions
- Fatigue, wheezing, and sore throat
- Aggravated asthma
- Weakened athletic performance
- Recurring and acute conditions
While the above may be considered extreme cases, there are varying degrees of each that can affect anyone. But how do we go about making sure the air we breathe is as clean as possible?
Benefits of Clean Air
On the flip side of this coin, the benefits of clean air are undeniable. Aiming to reduce the contaminants that you breathe can improve your health in the following ways:
- Improved lung function
- Decreased allergy and asthma symptoms
- Improved skin quality
- Improved digestion
- Reduced change of heart and lung disease
- Improved emotional wellbeing
What Affects Indoor Air Quality?
No doubt you spend a lot of your time indoors these days, especially if you’re working from home. Do you think you’re safe? There are several factors to consider that could mean your indoor air is just as polluted as the outside.
Cleaning chemicals, air fresheners, and cigarette smoke are all forms of indoor pollutants. Simple things that we don’t even think of like dust and dirt from outside come in on your shoes and this can contain pollen and mould. Mould and mildew from the kitchen and bathroom may be a factor in your home, along with animal dander, bird dust, or pathogens in your cat’s litter trays.
This is where your air conditioning unit comes into play.
How Do I Keep My Air Conditioner Clean?
If you have an aircon unit in your house, you have a great source of filtration at your fingertips.
The main purpose of air conditioning units is to cool or heat the air in your home. However, they are very useful in removing certain contaminants from the air as well such as dust and pollen. These are pulled into the filter and clean air is pushed out again.
It makes sense then to keep your air cleaner clean too. How can we best do that?
The filters on an air-conditioning unit are the most significant part of keeping the air fresh. They work by trapping pollutants and releasing clean air. You must change or clean your filters regularly so that they can continue to do their job properly.
Take a look at this helpful video which shows exactly how filters in air conditioners work.
If your filters are not clean, they will not gather the particles efficiently and they may just be pushed back out with the air. If you are using your air conditioner to clean the air, you must tend to your filters at least every two weeks to keep your air clean, and to avoid putting too much strain on your aircon unit.
Not all filters are created equal. The way in which filters are woven determines how they perform against different pollutants. Check the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of your unit and this will guide you in choosing the right filter. MERV filters range from a MERV 8 to a MERV 13, and each one has something different to offer.
Evaporator coils are another part of your unit that needs to be cleaned often. Some units require this to be done by a professional, but others you can do yourself. If you need a professional to help, contact your nearest appliance service centre. Clogged coils stop the air from flowing properly which limits the unit's cleaning capacity.
Dirt and Corrosion
Dirt also causes corrosion on the coils, and this can result in refrigerant leaks. This leak allows toxic emissions to come through the air conditioner and out into the house, poisoning the air. The dirt build-up also promotes the growth of moulds and mildews, and this can further impact your indoor air quality.
Finally, make sure all the ducts are clean and sealed properly. Loose or dirty ducts also allow contaminants into the house. You can have your ducts professionally washed so that you know they are properly cleaned and will not let in dust or other contaminants.
Does My AC Clean Air From Outside?
A point to note is that most air conditioners do not bring in clean air from outside. This is one of their most misunderstood functions. Air conditioners recycle air by sucking it in, scrubbing it, and dispersing it throughout your home.
Additional Measures to Maintain Clean Air
While they are a simple and easy way to help clean the air, air conditioners are not the only way to remove pollutants from the air in your house. There are a few other steps that you can take to make sure you have the cleanest air possible in your home.
- Eliminate sources of pollutants by reducing chemicals in the home
- Add some air-cleaning plants
- Clean and air your home regularly
- Look into essential oil diffusers and beeswax candles
- Take your shoes off before you come inside
- If your pets are indoors, keep them clean and well-groomed
- Clean with natural and non-toxic cleaning products
- Invest in an air purifier
By doing some or all the above, and running a well-maintained air-conditioning unit you will be able to see the health benefits in no time. You should notice fewer respiratory and allergy-related issues, as well as a general feeling of physical and mental wellbeing.
Choosing an Air Conditioner
Have you been considering an air conditioner?
There are various sizes that you can choose from when it comes to AC units, from small portable units to large wall units depending on your needs. They all come with their own set of features to suit your home, your budget, and your family's health needs.
For example, the 24,000 Mid Wall Inverter Unit from Defy can easily handle the heating and cooling needs of a 50 sqm room. It’s got a user-friendly LCD screen and remote control along with a dehumidifying function to benefit those suffering from respiratory issues. Anti-bacterial seals ensure your air quality, and the inverter function makes it super quiet and energy-efficient.
Clean and Clear
Ultimately, the efficiency of your air conditioner depends on you, the filters you choose, and how well you look after it. So, if you want clean air, the wise thing to do is to make sure that your aircon unit is of good quality, and maintained and cleaned regularly.
Keep a healthy air conditioning unit and you will protect your health in turn. This is as essential as having cool or warm air and is all we want at the end of the day – fresh clean air to breathe.