Here in San Diego it gets too hot in some locations to be without air conditioning. Not only does air conditioning make your body more comfortable, but it also helps with your breathing. This is especially important for people with asthma.
What Air Conditioning and Asthma Have in Common
Asthma is most commonly triggered by mold, pollen, and animal dander. For most of us, breathing in these particles is unavoidable, but the good news is that air conditioning units all contain filters that keep our particle intake to minimum. Air conditioning also helps eliminate humidity. Humidity feeds mold and algae to grow much more rapidly then it could if it were living in dry air.
Air conditioners work by:
- pulling air into the unit
- which gets forced through filters, blowers, compressors, condensers, coolers and evaporators
- then blasted back at the temperature of your choice.
This cycle keeps the air circulating in your environment and eventually through your lungs. If the air is not pure, and still contains heavy mold, pollen, and animal dander then the problem lies in the upkeep of the unit, and you might be at risk of an asthma attack.
Ideal Air Conditioning Upkeep
Ideally you should have your air conditioner serviced at least once a year by a licensed Air Conditioning Contractor. The contractor will inspect the overall condition of the unit.
- His first priority will be to make sure the unit is still performing efficiently and all of the mechanical aspects are operating smoothly.
- He will then check to make sure your coolant is pure and at a high level.
- He will check to see if the coils have mold or algae growing on them. If they do, he will clean or replace them.
- The blower will be examined to make sure it is not corroded with dirt or other debris. The wheels are easy to clean if the damage is minimal.
- He will replace your filter.
- He will clean your drain line of mold and algae.
In addition to having a professional come to your home once a year there are things you should be doing in the meantime to better your breathing.
- Your first personal responsibility will be to make sure you are changing your filter at least once a month. This is the most important step in keeping up with your A/C unit. Your top choice should be the Pleated Filter since it works the best.This will drastically effect the air quality in your home. Once a month filter replacements prolongs the overall life of your air conditioning unit by stopping dirt from getting to the other major mechanical components that make up the unit.
- Your second personal responsibility will be to clean your drain line as often as you are changing your filter. Mold and algae love to grow inside of drain lines and if there is an overgrowth then you might have to deal with a major backup.
Call a Professional To Get A Good Start On Your A/C Upkeep
If dirt is left sitting too long inside any part of your unit then the mechanical life of the system could greatly be impacted. Whether you have a new unit or an old one, it is probably time for you to call in a licensed professional to do a tune up. Feel free to ask him questions and learn how to take over the easy stuff. From there you can get yourself in the routine of replacing filters and cleaning drain lines.
Being active in the maintenance of your air conditioner could save you from experiencing a major asthma attack. It feels good knowing that you are safe breathing in quality air at home.