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How Your Air Conditioning Can Affect Your Home’s Air Quality

Did you know that the air inside our homes on average is two to five times more contaminated than the outdoor air? That’s a pretty staggering fact considering the average American spends about 90% of their time indoors.

In our most recent blog, the heating and cooling technicians at Douglas Cooling & Heating discuss how air conditioning systems can affect your home’s air quality and steps you can take to improve indoor air quality in your home.

Understanding the Color Alert System

The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, uses a color alert system to notify citizens of air quality issues outside. For Birmingham residents, this guide helps those who live with allergies, asthma, COPD or other respiratory issues. Attention to the color alert system will help you stay healthy outside and inside when using your air conditioning. 

How Ozone Affects Your Health

Many people misunderstand ozone. There is ozone in the stratosphere. This shields the Earth and you from dangerous ultraviolet rays coming from the sun.

A different type of ozone at ground level is a colorless gas you breathe and is harmful to your health. Ozone is caused by power plants, vehicles, industries, solvents, and paints. Ground-level ozone creates or impacts health issues, such as:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Lung damage
  • Infections
  • Increased asthma attacks
  • Aggravated lung disease
  • Increased risk of death due to heart or lung disease

Ozone affects anyone, even healthy adults. Those who live with allergies, asthma or lung disease are at a greater risk of ozone exposure. Children and teenagers are at higher risk because their lungs are still developing. They breathe in more air compared to adults.

The same goes for elderly adults, who have weaker lungs. Another group is anyone with a compromised immune system due to chronic illness or a medical regimen.

Another group of people susceptible to ozone hazards are those who work outside or live a generally active lifestyle outdoors. So in short, practically everyone.

How Your Air Conditioning Helps and Hurts

Shutting yourself indoors to escape the heat outside can do more harm than good if your air conditioning system is neglected. Clogged HVAC system air filters and air ducts prevent your air conditioning unit from fresh air delivery throughout your home.

Instead, indoor air pollutants and contaminants, such as pollen, pet dander, dirt and other debris circulate from room to room while your AC system operates.

The easiest way to ensure your cooling system will protect you when the color alert system is not green is to schedule air conditioning service with Douglas Cooling & Heating. We understand the hazards of ozone on Birmingham residents.

We know what steps to take to keep your indoor air quality healthy and prevent indoor air pollution. Our NATE-certified technicians will inspect and clean your air conditioning system. This includes changing your air filter.

The air filter in your air conditioner is responsible for trapping and eliminating particulates before they seep into your indoor air. When the filter is dirty or clogged, the particulates escape and move throughout the ductwork.

This eventually compromises your indoor air and health. You can go a step further when you install an ultraviolet air cleaner in your air conditioning unit. This creates better indoor air quality and reduces the number of particulates which escape filtration.

Installing a Whole Home Dehumidifier

Your air conditioner helps control relative humidity in your home. It can’t remove all moisture, however, especially when the levels are high outside. A great way to help your air conditioning unit is to install a whole-home dehumidifier.

Excess moisture allows dust mites to multiply and creates a breeding ground for microbes like mildew. A dehumidifier connected to your air conditioning system helps remove moisture your air conditioner misses and allows your unit to operate more efficiently in the future. Aside from removing excess moisture, the installation of a whole house dehumidifier can:

  • Prevent water damage around your home
  • Restrict household allergens
  • Improve comfort and fewer health problems
  • Create healthier air and good indoor air quality
  • Create energy savings and lower energy bills

Call Douglas Cooling & Heating for Air Quality, Air Conditioning Solutions

Pay attention to the ozone levels outside, EPA color system warnings and stay indoors when it’s hazardous to your health. Air conditioning units maintained on a regular basis help counteract harmful pollutants outside and indoors.

Call Douglas Cooling & Heating to schedule service or to learn more about air cleaners and dehumidifiers for your cooling system. Ready to upgrade or replace? We offer financing!

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