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Can Air Conditioners Purify the Air?

Can Air Conditioners Purify the Air?

Everyone wants to enjoy good quality air in their home and in their workplace. Superior AC Repair Cypress explains that air which is good quality is ideal as it keeps everyone healthy and happy. They perform AC Repair in Cypress, TX. There is some confusion about how this can be best achieved and we will try to unravel things for you.

What the basic air conditioner units do…

The role of a standard air conditioner is to either cool or heat up the air in a room so that it is more comfortable for the occupants. Some models also adjust the level of humidity. Standard types of air conditioners do not purify the air and in fact, if they are not well maintained, they can lower the quality of the air.

It is essential that filters are kept clean and the heat exchanger filters are regularly disinfected to keep the air that is being circulated as hygienic as possible. It is important to remember, that the average filter only lasts three months. If you would like a more efficient filter for your A/C system, get a ‘pleated’ filter with a higher MERV rating (see below) as this will be more efficient.

Also, check that your room size is not larger than the size recommended for coverage by the A/C manufacturer- as this makes a big difference. 

And the higher quality the unit…

Going up a notch, there are air conditioners on the market that feature UV sterilisers, HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters and ionisers. Some models also have carbon filtration. These features are not found on standard types of air conditioning and so these units do not hugely reduce air pollution as their filters only trap larger particles such as dust. 

The main function of an air conditioning unit is HVAC – heating ventilation and conditioning. All have a filter that is made of fiberglass and this helps purify the air by trapping dust, dirt and microorganisms.

Rather than rely on the basic standard air filter, if you would like your air conditioner to purify the air more effectively, look for a model with HEPA filters. If your air conditioner does not have this type of filter, it is worth investing in a better quality filter and changing it every 12 weeks. Having said that, trapped particles in the filter system can and do become free again from the air conditioner to re-enter the air in the room.

Replacement filters are available in a variety of qualities-

MERV 1-4    

offer low air cleaning

MERV 5-8    

is made from pleated cloth and filters the air better

MERV 9-12  

offers a great quality of air cleaning

MERV 13-16 

this rating has the highest efficiency

* There are filters available with even higher MERV ratings, but their thickness can prevent the air conditioning unit from working effectively by blocking the free airflow.

Are there any health risks with air conditioners?

To ensure that your air conditioner works efficiently, it does need regular cleaning and maintenance. These are some of the health problems that can still occur :

* An air conditioning unit contains moisture and this can be very unhealthy if it is allowed to accumulate, as it can quickly become moldy.

* The air filters in the unit trap dust and other particles. these can be re-introduced into the room. The filters must be disinfected regularly.

* Air conditioning units can only filter out larger particles but are not capable of trapping smaller particles. This can cause problems for those with asthma or bronchial problems.

* Air conditioning units have been known to spread airborne diseases including Legonnaire’s disease.

Many people believe that air conditioning units do clean the air effectively, but sadly this is not the case. The ideal combination is to have an air conditioner to keep your environment at a comfortable temperature and an air purifier to clean the air – this is the perfect combination to keep you and your family, safe and well.

Introducing ionisers

The role of an air purifier is to effectively remove all pollutants from a room. These pollutants include dust, smoke and bacteria. There are two main types of air purifier on the market; the first has a HEPA filter which uses a very dense filter to remove the majority of particles from the air and the ioniser which uses electrostatic to remove the particles.

And quelling myths about air fresheners…

The same question about purifying the air is also asked about air fresheners as they can make your home smell gloriously floral, even if you don’t have a flower in sight! Air fresheners do not purify the air and in fact, because they contain powerful chemicals that mask smells and odors, they can prove detrimental for anyone who suffers from headaches or asthma. One ingredient that is regularly used in air fresheners is phthalates and this is now been questioned as it can cause many health problems.

So if you are wanting a pleasant working or living environment with clean, healthy air, a combination of an air conditioner and purifier definitely works best.