Do Air Conditioners Affect Home Air Quality?

The quality of the air you breathe has a lasting impact on human health. Even when you’re staying indoors, at home especially, you can be exposed to particles that can affect your eyes, nose, and lungs, thus leading to potentially harmful health conditions.


Poor home air quality can cause problems like allergic reactions, asthma, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and other irritations. In severe cases, frequent exposure to indoor air contaminants can increase the risk of having illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and stroke. It can also cause damage to your kidney, liver, lungs, and central nervous system.


As such, having good air quality at home can have a significant impact on our health. And the quality of your air conditioning system plays a role in this. How?

Let’s back up for a moment.


How Do Air Conditioners Work?


Air conditioners make homes cooler by drawing heat energy, transferring that to the outdoors, and adjusting the indoor air to a cooler temperature. Essentially, air conditioners transfer heat from the inside to the outside. They also recycle cool indoor air, as opposed to bringing in hot outdoor air.

Let’s break this down in a little more detail.


Air conditioners have refrigerants within their system to absorb excess heat in the room, and then pump it to an outside coil through a system of pipes.

Similarly, ACs have a fan that blows ambient air over the hot coil that holds the refrigerant. This process transfers heat from the refrigerant to the outdoor air. Then, the refrigerant is pumped back indoors, after which the process begins again.


Once the heat is removed, colder air remains to be blown back into the room to cool your home or any other indoor area.

Now, there are different types of units that vary slightly in how they function.


For air conditioners in a central heating and cooling system, cool air is transported inside your home through ductwork. Again, this process draws out the warm air inside and removes its heat.


Wall-mounted air conditioners have an external unit that is connected with tubes to the inside. It passes coolant and enables heat to escape outside. It brings air from the top, runs it through the cooling coils, and releases cool air out the front.

While the details vary between different types of units, the general process is mostly the same.

Your AC unit makes your home feel more comfortable. But what’s it doing to the quality of the air?


How Do Air Conditioners Affect Air Quality?


Since air conditioners circulate and refresh indoor air, they can affect air quality. Your unit maintains the ideal room temperature and partially controls humidity levels since it dehumidifies the air. 

Improper levels of humidity can lead to bacteria, fungi, mildew, mold, and other viruses forming in your room. So, your AC might help maintain the right levels and thus plays a role in how the air affects your health.


In addition, the filters of air conditioners can somewhat help to remove any dust, pollen, and other harmful microorganisms that naturally end up in our indoor air – provided that they are cleaned and replaced regularly. Likewise, the built-in purification systems and the condition of the air duct system affect your home air quality.

This is why HVAC professionals will always tell you to maintain the cleanliness of your AC unit.


What Else Affects Home Air Quality?


The quality of our home air can be affected by different factors like humidity, mold, ventilation, and temperature. It can also be impacted by air pollutants such as:

  • Chemical components from cleaning and personal care products.
  • Combustion pollutants like carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide from burning materials (candles, dryers, fireplaces, gas or wood stoves, and heaters).
  • Dust and mites.
  • Emissions and residual fumes from certain activities (painting, paint stripping, wood sanding).
  • Lead from paint and furniture preservatives.
  • Odors from cooking and cleaning items, as well as household and personal products.
  • Pet hair and dander.
  • Radon, a naturally occurring gas that can seep through cracks and enter the home, causing health problems.
  • Smoke.


How to Improve Your Home Air Quality


Luckily, there are a number of measures you can take to improve the air in your home. In addition to having a clean and properly functioning air conditioning unit, here are some suggestions:


  • Air humidifier – Increase moisture in the air to reduce viruses’ infectiousness, prevent the growth of mold, and minimize illnesses common in dry climates or seasons, if you live in that sort of area. 
  • Source control – Eliminate individual sources of indoor contaminants and air pollution (e.g., faulty or outdated gas stoves).
  • Proper natural ventilation – Open your doors and windows to promote airflow, encourage indoor air circulation, control temperature, and remove pollutants.
  • Air purifier – Remove physical pollutants (dust, pollen, and smoke particles), deactivate pathogens (bacteria and mold spores), and eliminate harmful chemicals in the home air.


While your air conditioning unit is a start, it’s not enough to help you stay healthy. The Sans air purifier keeps you and your family safe from harmful particles that circulate through the air. The unit is equipped with a three-stage air filtration system and UV-C light sterilization for optimal air cleaning.


It starts with a pre-filter that traps large dust particles and pollutants. Next, the medical-grade HEPA 13 filter captures microparticles, pathogens as small as 0.1 microns, and allergens invisible to the eye. After this is the activated carbon filter, which neutralizes harmful chemicals released by cleaning and personal care products. Lastly, the interior UV-C light sterilizes the captured elements to ensure they don’t grow on the other filters, get released from the unit, and affect the home air quality.


Ready to improve your home air quality? Shop with Sans today and start feeling the difference.