If you or someone in your household suffers from a respiratory ailment, you want to ensure that the air in your home doesn't exacerbate the condition. It might be severe asthma, recurring bronchitis, or even a lung disease. It's impossible to filter out all airborne contaminants that have the potential to irritate a person's airways, but there might be a device that you are unknowingly allowing to feed contaminants directly into your home. If you have an air conditioner, you will need to take certain steps in order to ensure that the air being directed into your home is clean and as free of contaminants as possible. Some of these things can easily be done yourself, although you might require professional assistance in some cases.
Consider the vents that are positioned in your walls when you have a split system air conditioner. While the air that these split systems draw in from their external components might be perfectly clean, this is not always how it remains after travelling through the system. Inspect the vents by removing the grating (a screwdriver might be necessary). Examine the filters and consider how long it has been since they were cleaned and/or replaced. Once they have reached capacity, their ability to filter out airborne contaminants can be sharply hindered. Remove these filters and clean them. If this cleaning has not occurred for quite some time, you might wish to replace them altogether.
Servicing and Air Cleaning Systems
Arrange for the air conditioner to be professionally serviced. This will involve a thorough inspection and cleaning of the system's internal components—parts of the system that cannot be accessed without specialist equipment. You might also want to consider having an HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) air cleaning system installed within the air conditioner's ductwork. This greatly increases the system's filtration abilities, allowing it to remove a higher proportion of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which have the potential to cause irritation, particularly to those affected by a respiratory ailment.
Air Changes per Hour
Once the unit has been cleaned and serviced and its filters changed and replaced, you should think about the frequency and intensity of its operation. Consider the number of air changes per hour in the rooms of your home (the number of times the air within the space is completely replaced) and consider increasing the number of these air changes for cleaner air. It can feel somewhat complicated to calculate the number of air changes, but once you have done this, you will have a better idea as to whether this number is on the low side, allowing you to configure your air conditioner to increase the number of air changes.
A cleaner, more efficient air conditioner isn't going to cure a respiratory ailment, and yet with some consideration and minor effort, you can ensure that you will still be able to enjoy the benefits of air conditioning without aggravating the ailment.