When we think of air pollutants, we typically picture something that exists outside of our home, such as pollen or smoke. 

But did you know that there can be pollutants inside your home, as well? Furthermore, they can cause breathing difficulties or allergies. 

During springtime, it’s crucial to consider the air quality in your home as we typically switch from using our heat to using our air conditioning systems. With pollen counts rising, it’s also a time when allergies are on everyone’s minds. 

Few homeowners, however, realize that indoor air quality can have a direct impact on their HVAC system. 

The cleaner the air is inside your home, the longer your HVAC systems will run. Dust and other contaminants pose risks to your system and potentially to your family’s health. 

Dust and other airborne particles

When you change the air filters inside your home (consider this your seasonal reminder to do so!), one of the first things you notice is how much dust or dirt has accumulated over the past few months. All systems require filters because they help keep the components inside the air handler clean and filter out materials coming from the outside and into your home. 

The efficiency of your system is directly affected by dust, which can even cause your HVAC system to have a shorter lifespan. Bottom line: we must eliminate dust from your air systems and ensure that it doesn’t cover any component. 

If dust ends up on the evaporator coil or heat exchanger, efficiency is lost, which can set the stage for premature failure and ultimately lead to expensive repairs. 

Bacteria, mold, and spores

Similar to how dust can damage the efficiency of your system, microparticles, such as bacteria, viruses, and mold spores, can cover elements of your HVAC unit. 

Mold can be especially threatening to those in your home because the spores can be blown everywhere, eventually causing whatever it lands on to deteriorate. 

Many people have specific mold allergies that can be triggered if air ducts and systems are not cleaned properly. 

What you can do to improve the air quality in your home

Here are a few ways you can combat dust and other pollutants inside your home: 

  1. Install a high-quality air filter. Do your research and make sure you’re purchasing an air filter with a MERV rating higher than 10. This handy checklist from Consumer Reports has other information about air filters that might be helpful. 
  2. Mount UV lights in the air handler or ductwork. UV lights are proven to decrease mold and fungus buildup inside your system, which leads to a much healthier home. 
  3. Get a dehumidifier system. Dehumidifiers make breathing much more comfortable by removing excess moisture from your home. They also help decrease the spread of mold and mildew. 
  4. If possible, take hobbies that generate dust or fumes outdoors. If you’re thinking of sanding, soldering or painting during these warmer months, it’s best to do these activities outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. 

If you’re looking for other ways to improve the air quality inside your home, here are a few more tips from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If you need to speak to an expert about replacing or repairing your HVAC system, or if you have questions about how to finance a project of this scale, please contact us at 1-888-44-SMART for more information.