Air conditioning doesn’t just make the Las Vegas summers tolerable; it can also improve the quality of the air inside your home. Indoor air pollution can be up to 10 times higher than pollution outside due to pollutants from cooking, sprays, paint, and more. Your HVAC system helps filter out harmful pollutants in the air you breathe while improving circulation inside the house. Your AC system also helps control humidity in your home to keep mold from gaining a footing.
Regular HVAC maintenance is one of the most important steps you can take to improve the quality of the air you breathe while reducing your energy costs. Here’s how to keep your air conditioner working efficiently to keep your indoor air clean, fresh, and safe.
Upgrade to a Better Air Filter
Not all air filters are created equal. HVAC filters are rated on a system called the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). This scale, which ranges from 1 to 20, indicates the ability of the air filter to resist airflow and remove particles from the air. Assuming your air conditioner is rated to handle the filter you select, you can filter out more particles by upgrading from a standard air filter.
Most home AC filters have a rating of MERV 8 to 13. A rating of MERV 8 is considered a quality filter as it can remove 35% of dust particles along with dust mites, mold spores, and pet dander. A rating of MERV 9 through 12 can capture much smaller airborne particles like car emissions. With a rating of MERV 12, the filter will remove up to 75% of dust particles from the air. Always make sure your HVAC system is equipped to handle an air filter with a high MERV rating, however, as the tightly woven material can put additional strain on the air handler.
Change Your Air Filters Regularly
Your air conditioner and furnace filters capture pollutants from the air and keep your HVAC system working efficiently. A dirty air filter puts a great deal of strain on your system. In general, filters should be changed every month but your filter may need to be changed more frequently if you have pets, a household member who smokes indoors, or someone in the home with allergies or asthma.
Install a Media Air Cleaner
A media air cleaner is a whole house filtration system that’s installed in the return duct of your forced air system. These in-duct air cleaners filter the air in your entire home, trapping particles in the air before it reaches the air handler and furnace. A media air cleaner is a long-term solution as the filter only needs to be replaced every year or two.
Consider a UV Filter
A UV filter is an add-on to your HVAC system that helps improve air quality. If you have anyone in your household with a weakened immune system, asthma, or allergies, it may be worth the cost to invest in a high-efficiency UV filter for your HVAC system. UV lights don’t filter particles from the air. Instead, they sterilize the air as it blows through the air handler to eliminate mold, bacteria, and condensation in your ductwork and HVAC equipment.
Schedule Annual HVAC Maintenance
During the off-season, your furnace and air conditioning systems develop a build-up of dust, pollen, and debris. If you turn on your system in the spring without maintenance, the contaminants that have accumulated in the system will be distributed throughout your home and compromise your indoor air quality. Seasonal maintenance is an important step that reduces the amount of dirt, pollen, and debris in your system to ensure it’s clean and ready for operation.
A seasonal HVAC check-up involves a thorough check to make sure your system is working as it should. An HVAC tune-up can detect problems before they become worse, locate leaks in your AC system or ductwork that can contribute to mold, and ensure that moving parts are lubricated and functioning properly.
If your AC or furnace is acting up, or it’s been awhile since your system was inspected, contact Right Now Air to schedule your HVAC tune-up. Our certified technicians can ensure that your HVAC system is ready for whatever Las Vegas weather may come and they can suggest steps you can take to further protect your indoor air quality with your furnace and air conditioner.