Have you cleaned your air conditioner lately?

Have you cleaned your air conditioner lately?

Get ready to have your mind blown. Your air conditioner is gross! Yes you need to clean it. Did you know that this is one of the most important steps to protect yourself and loved ones from the harmful effects of indoor pollutants? The EPA has found that a dirty AC system (this includes ductless mini-splits too) can double the amount of particulate matter in a room. This means more than just an inconvenience for allergy sufferers, but also long-term health impacts like asthma or lung disorders. The good news is that it's not hard! We've created this blog post with some tips for you on how to keep your AC looking fresh and running at peak performance.

Why Do You Need To Clean It

There are 2 major reasons why it is important to clean your HVAC system. First, it could save you $1000s on repair and replacement costs along with a decreased utility bills because your system is running more efficiently without clogged up filters and dirty blower wheels blocking air flow inside. The average cost of installing a ductless mini-split system, which offers not only air conditioning but heating for those that live in cold environments, is upward of $6000! That’s a big investment.  The good news is that with simple cleaning practices, you as a homeowner can save yourself a lot of money in the long run.

Let’s talk about the 2nd most important reason and one I think most of us would consider even more important than money in our wallets. Our health. 

Air quality is something we should all be concerned about. It's not just for those who suffer from asthma or allergies, but it affects everyone. One of the most common pollutants in the air is called particulate matter (PM). PM comes in many shapes and sizes, including dust, soot, mold and smoke particles. The smallest size are referred to as ultrafine particles which can easily enter your lungs and cause irritation.

A lot of people don't realize the importance of cleaning their air conditioner. Sure it's a big, bulky appliance that you may not think needs much care and attention, but if you're one of those people who has been neglecting your AC all year long then I'm sorry to say this: You're letting mold grow in there! It's just as bad for your health as it is for the quality of your indoor air. And the worst part about it is that once mold starts growing there it could become toxic and getting rid of it can be very difficult and expensive.

Below is a real image of what a neglected mini-split air conditioner looks like inside. No joke, it's gross and that's what you could be breathing in.

Air conditioning units and Aspergillus
Image Credit: www.aspergillosis.org/air-conditioning-units/

How To Clean It

Cleaning your mini-split air conditioner system can be done by following these easy steps:

1. Turn off power & disconnect from power source (if applicable)

Turn off air conditioner / mini-split

2. Remove the front panel

Remove front panel from air conditioner
It's recommended that you look to your manufacturers documentation on how to remove your specific model.

3. Vacuum / Dust

Brush dust away from air conditioner

4. Disinfect visible mold

Wipe away visible debris and mold

5. Clean filters

Wash filters and then dry

Rinse under water and make sure they are completely dry before reinstalling.

6. Reassemble and turn back on

How Often Should You Do It

The frequency will depend on where in the country you live because climates vary greatly from place to place, but a good general rule of thumb is every 2 weeks you should be taking a peak at your units. By doing this it will help with keeping organic buildup from happening in your unit and filters.  

How Can You Safely Remove Mold?

While visible mold can be removed on the surface the big issue is the mold that grows internally in your unit, especially in, around, and behind your coils and blower wheel. These areas of your system cannot be easily cleaned by you. It’s always best to have a professional in once a year for maintenance but let’s be honest what do you do in between those scheduled services? Mold doesn’t magically stop growing and as we all know can grow very quickly in dark, damp environments.

Purchasing an affordable home disinfecting device that you can just quickly pop on, press a button and let it do it’s thing is really the best route. Current automated devices like the PureAC allow homeowners to quickly, safely and effectively disinfect the entire inside of their mini-split air conditioner, which focuses on hard to reach areas such as the coils and blower wheel. These devices use state of the art professional grade disinfection that doesn’t need the use of water or harsh chemicals. It’s so easy to use that when you take your filters out to wash you just use the PureAC at the same time. Regular use of the PureAC will not only kill the mold, mildew and bacteria currently lurking inside, but it actually inhibits the growth of new contagions because of the disinfection process. This keeps your air handlers healthy and keeps the gunk from mold and mildew growing on everything else.

Disinfect your air conditioner

Yikes, Is It Time To Replace Your Old AC?

Did you know the average lifespan of a ductless mini-split air conditioner system is between 15-20 years. People often choose these systems not only because of the convenience and affordability but in fact their life lasts longer than central AC systems. If you are questioning whether it's time to replace your old ac unit or your air handlers we recommend that you contact your local HVAC professional to inspect. They are certified in your equipment and can quickly give you the best options with moving forward. Many times it’s just simple maintenance items they can do to optimize your system or if you are over that lifespan then they can show you the cost savings of installing a new more efficient system. 


So, to sum things up, scheduling time to clean your air conditioner mini-split system is important for your wallet and especially your health. If your AC doesn’t get cleaned, you could be inviting mold and mildew growth into the unit which can lead to a number of health problems. At PureAC we offer an automated disinfecting device that allows you to quickly disinfect your AC in 30 minutes with just the push of a button. By cleaning regularly and using the PureAC it will help keep your home comfortable all year long while keeping it healthy for you and your family too! To learn more about PureAC, click here.

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