Although your AC system does clean and dehumidify your home’s air to a certain degree, you may want to boost those powers for one reason or another.
Perhaps your home’s air has had a lot of dust added to it recently by a home improvement project, or perhaps one of your family members has developed an allergy and you want to make extra sure that there’s not enough pollen in your home to cause an allergic reaction.
Whatever it is, you may be looking around for ways to help your indoor air stay cleaner. Before you invest in a freestanding air cleaning system, consider taking a look at these four ways that you can use the AC system you already have and boost its air-cleaning powers.
- Choose an air filter that cleans well but doesn’t obstruct
All your AC unit’s intake vents should have a filter to help remove dust from the air that moves into the system. Replacing this filter with a denser one that removes more dust seems like an obvious first move, but you do have to be careful. Sticking a HEPA filter in there may actually not be the best thing to do. Because a HEPA filter is so efficient at removing particles from the air it’s actually hard for the air itself to get through due to how dense the filter is.
So the filter can reduce airflow, which doesn’t just make it harder for your AC unit to function as designed but also means that less air is getting filtered.
Because of this, it can be best to strike a balance; use a pleated filter that’s nearly as efficient as a HEPA filter but allows more air through. This gives you the best of both worlds, because your AC unit can function and more air can get filtered faster.
- Consider adding an in-duct air cleaner
Another option for filtering air as it passes through the ducts is to have a sort of filtration detour installed. This in-duct air filter pulls air from the duct’s supply, filters it, and then puts it back in. It can use a fan to force the air through its filter, so it won’t obstruct airflow like a HEPA filter at the vent could.
This option is similar to having a freestanding air filtration system except that it takes advantage of the existing ductwork of your existing AC system rather than setting up its own system. This helps it get past one of the common problems of independent air filtration systems, which is that they can’t cycle all the air in the house to filter it. This solution lets the HVAC system do the work of circulating the air.
- Get your ducts and unit cleaned regularly
You may be surprised at how much dust can accumulate inside your ducts despite all your filters. Although you don’t have to have them cleaned frequently, it may help with your allergies if you do get them cleaned on occasion. Duct cleaning requires professional tools and equipment, though, so it’s not a DIY job.
- Place houseplants strategically
You may have heard that houseplants can help filter toxins, allergens, chemicals, and other pollutants out of your air. The more houseplants you have, the more pronounced this effect can be. But like a freestanding filtration system, the plants can’t circulate air across their own leaves, so try to place them in an area where there’s plenty of air circulation.
For example, you wouldn’t want to put a plant right next to an air intake or outlet vent (it could obstruct airflow or the leaves could dry out from the direct flow of dry air), but placing it nearby, in a spot where the air is still circulating well, can help make the most of your plant’s air-cleaning powers.
These four tips use relatively low-cost strategies to optimize AC-system-powered filtration. Whether or not you decide to install a freestanding air filtration system too, these boosting tips can help you get the most of what you have.
For more advice or to schedule an appointment with our technicians, contact Peterson Heating and Cooling Inc. today.