Spring is an enjoyable season for most of us. Rays of sunshine and sudden bursts of chill in the air are enough to distract us from all the humidity.
Rapidly increasing temperatures melt away any leftover frost, influencing humidity levels. At their peak, humidity levels in Washington reach up to eighty-six percent.
Increased humidity may be intolerable for you or your air conditioning systems. You may not be able to turn them on during the summer.
Spring is the best time to implement maintenance efforts on your air conditioner. Deploying maintenance efforts during spring prevents mid-season mechanical failure and promotes energy efficiency.
You don’t have to let the humidity in spring get in the way of a comfortable summer ahead. There are ways to keep your AC system safe during spring.
Learn more about how to save your air conditioner from the negative impacts of springtime humidity.
Is Humidity Bad for Air Conditioners?
Winters are often dry and frigid, but the sudden onset of sunlight can raise temperatures and promote humidity. While summer still takes the cake, springtime can be just as humid in Washington.
Washington doesn’t have drastic temperature shifts, maintaining cooler temperatures all year round. However, they shift quickly, and the slightest nudge upward can impact winter’s remnants.
Humidity may also manifest various irritants hazardous to our health and AC systems. Teetering temperatures produce uncomfortable and sometimes perilous humidity levels.
Too much humidity can develop into condensation within your AC units. Air conditioners harboring condensation can lead to clogs and leaks.
They may also promote dangerous growth and high-risk contamination. The more moisture particles in the air, the more pathogens and contaminants can latch onto.
Once these particles enter our air conditioners, they may spread and expose our household to various hazardous elements.
The Most Common Airborne Pollutants & Contaminants in Spring
Various elements are regularly circulating our indoor and outdoor air. Thanks to all the humidity, airborne particles nearly triple in volume, breeding more easily and spreading more quickly.
From sniffles and rashes to severe illnesses, humidity can impact your health more than you know. Contaminants can make us experience a broad range of symptoms, just as much as our air conditioners do.
Condensation is bad enough, leading to clogging, leaking, and short-circuiting. However, particles and pathogens settling within your air conditioner can cause worse issues.
Here are the most common airborne particles and their possible effects on your air conditioner.
Spring brings about plenty of pollutants, with pollen being the most abundant. The spring helps release generous amounts of pollen into the air, and the breeze promotes their anemophilous state.
There is really no escaping the presence of pollen during spring. Anemophilous pollination makes a brief trip outdoors enough to trigger allergies, setting off your rhinitis and asthma.
They won’t stay outdoors either. Pollen may infiltrate your home in more ways than one. You may notice them on various elements of your clothing as soon as you step outside.
Air conditioners collecting pollen can lead to dangerousclogs. Saturating air filters is one thing, but entirely inhibiting airflow poses more dangers.
Pollen can cause worse damage when paired with humidity. You may hear your air conditioner audibly struggling when you turn them on during summer. The condensation within your AC units can harbor pollen until summertime, creating residual buildup and gunk.
The worst part is that while pollen stagnates within condensation, it will retain its triggeringeffects once released into your indoor environment.
Pollen is a springtime hazard. However, there are year-round pollutants that only worsen due to humidity.
Animal dander isn’t a seasonal allergen, especially when we live with pets. Your four-legged housemates might trigger allergic reactions every time they scratch or shake.
Thanks to the humidity and temperature shift, you can count on your pets shedding more this season. Humidity also irritates our pets, causing more scratching, shaking, and rolling around.
The dewy grass outdoors may also provide relief, encouraging our furry friends to roll around and pick up pollen while shedding dander. That’s a two-for-one hazard, and while we don’t encourage leaving them outdoors, you must know where your allergies are coming from.
You also won’t be able to stop yourself from sneezing or coughing. Humidity can impact the volume of contamination, providing more suitable conditions for dander and other particles to flourish.
Pollen and dander are enough to overwhelm AC systems during spring. However, humidity invites worse pathogens and microorganisms into your home.
Air conditioning systems make prime environments for mold and mildew to breed. Unlike pollen and dander, the symptoms you experience may not be as mild.
Mold can cause dizziness, nausea, severe skin irritation, fainting spells, and disorientation. There are even variants that lead to hallucinations.
There are plenty of different strains of mold, with some more harmful than others. However, all strains thrive in spring’s shady, humid, and warm conditions.
Mold growth isn’t only hazardous when air handlers distribute spores into your indoor space. It is equally dangerous for HVAC systems to harbor them within internal systems, even worse than voluminous buildups of pollen and dander!
Humidity harbors great amounts of mold in a single moisture particle. One mold spore making it into your air conditioner can impact the entire system in weeks.
Further condensation only hastens the process. It’s best to remedy the situation now before matters worsen.
Call a professional when you see dried-up water stains with black and blue veins on your outdoor units or around your indoor air handlers.
You should also call HVAC contractors when you encounter black dust on your air vents, which indicates black mold in your AC units.
Outdoor pollutants aren’t the only ones that pose a threat. You can generate your own pollutants indoors. While those pollutants aren’t brought on by spring, they are worsened by the humidity.
Our habits can cause indoor pollution. We may saturate our indoor environment without the help of external factors, especially when we don’t have sufficient ventilation.
You may avoid opening doors and windows to keep outdoor pollutants outside. However, that only traps pollution indoors, hindering airflow and promoting static pressure.
The humidity and poor airflow create an inhospitable environment, making your home stuffy and suffocating. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and carbon emissions may result from our habits.
Indoor pollutants, mixed with humidity, can greatly impact our air quality. They saturate our air, seeping into air handlers, making spring more insufferable indoors.
Your home needs frequent and abundant ventilation if you are guilty of any habits listed below.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Using bug spray
- Spraying perfume
- Using air fresheners and deodorizers
- Cooking on gas or induction stoves and ovens
- Using the fireplace
- Lighting candles and incense
Spring puts us at an impasse between opening ventilation systems or keeping them closed. Both acts pose their own hazards, and finding a system you can practice that works for you is the only way to work around them.
Prevention and Protection Techniques for AC Systems During Spring
The most common steps in spring maintenance involve your air filters and condenser units. Most HVAC contractors and homeowners focus on cleaning air filters and condenser units to clear any congestion and clean out pollutants.
You can start by properly gauging your indoor air quality. You can conduct your own examination, but it’s more helpful to enlist the help of professionals for more accurate evaluations.
Inspecting your screens and filters is the easiest way to kick off DIY maintenance. Polluted airways often reflect on anything with mesh screening, such as AC filters. You can also tell through the screens on your doors and windows if you have any.
Gather your cleaning tools and roll up your sleeves if they are heavily saturated or discolored.
Cleaning Your Air Conditioner Filters
You may clean or replace your air filtersby accessing them on top of vents or behind panels of your air conditioners.
Air filters are placed atop air vents for central air conditioning systems. Window types and multi-split systems have removable front panels that cover air filters.
Once you detach the filters from their railing, you can pull out large particles lodged into their seams. Use a wet-dry vacuum for more suction to dislodge smaller contaminants.
You may gently hose them down or submerge them in warm soapy water for ten minutes. Hang them until completely dry before placing them back into your air conditioner.
This is a simple way to protect your air conditioner from the effects of humidity this spring. However, it would be best if you didn’t attempt dismantling your outdoor AC unit without the proper equipment and know-how.
The most effective way to protect your air conditioning system and prevent contamination is to call for expert assistance.
Let Taylor Heating & AC Help You Protect Your Air Conditioner During Spring
The Taylor Heating & AC team can help your air conditioner fend against humidity. We can ensure no hazardous contaminants are breeding within your air conditioners, just waiting to ruin your summer.
We won’t only clean your air conditioner. We will whip your AC units into shape and revitalize them. Routine upkeep helps ensure overall efficiency and reliability to avoid uneven and costly cooling.
AC tune-ups clean and prepare our cooling systems. These maintenance efforts stabilize various elements, optimizing your air conditioner’s functions. If you need AC Tune-Up & Repair, we’re there.