How your A/C can be source of air pollution

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Regular cleaning, particularly around the outlets and intakes of your air conditioning unit , is a good way to avoid indoor air pollution and health problems.

We need clean air to stay alive. Without clean air you cannot breathe easily and soon your heart and lungs become affected.

A lot of time is spent talking about air pollution with a focus on the external environment.How many times do you give a thought to the quality of air in your room?

Though we may cringe and hold our nose for a second and laugh about it when we fart. We probably use the word ‘pollute’ to describe the act but we really don’t give much concern to the fact that the air we breath in at a given time in our homes could be potentially hazardous to health.

There are several sources of indoor air pollution. Some them are:
  • Fresh Paint: which is made from formaldehyde can cause irritation to the throat, eyes and nose
smoking as a source of air pollution
Smoking is source of air pollution
  • Smoking:Which introduces carbon monoxide into the room and could lead to  lung cancer

  • Cooking by burning of Wood or charcoal – this also emits carbon monoxide which reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood

  • Asbestos: They are used in building materials. The fibers can be inhaled when dispersed into the air.This
    happens when it is broken.Inhalation over a long period is associated with lung cancer.

Also known to be able to contaminate the air we breathe at home, is our air conditioning unit. This is a not-so obvious source of air pollution which we take for granted. Most people would make it work for several months  before any form of cleaning or maintenance is considered

Without regular maintenance your air conditioner will not function efficiently. There could be a loss of airflow, the motors become overworked and there is accumulation of moulds and mildews deep inside the air conditioning unit.
Besides incurring a huge cost to fix damaged components in the long run, there is the risk of some health hazards.

Health problems that could arise due to a poorly maintained Air conditioning unit includes:
  1. Respiratory tract infections like sore throat and tonsillitis

  2. Headache, body aches, nausea, chest pains and high fever which are symptoms of legionnaire disease. This happens because the warm and moist environment of your A/C that has not been regularly maintained becomes a breeding ground for legionnaire’s bacteria, which causes this disease.

  3. Asthma or allergies

ac filter that can cause air pollution
A clogged AC filter

Regular maintenance involves a few procedures like changing filters. A standard air filter needs to be changed at least once a month.
The condenser unit should also be cleaned regularly. It is usually exposed to a lot of debris and dust and too much of either or both can affect the system’s efficiency.
The evaporator coil and motors also need to be cleaned and kept free of contaminants while the drain lines need to be regularly cleared.

It is important to ensure that the air in your home is clean. A well-maintained air conditioner will not only keep your home cool but will also keep the air inside free of contaminants.

[Callistus Dike – Easycleantips]

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