Air conditioners don’t just keep you cooler; they can help you breathe easier during the heat of summer. You can wake in the morning feeling more refreshed, with fewer respiratory issues. Your home’s indoor air quality
is often two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
. These pollutants contribute to many diseases as well as respiratory conditions like asthma and allergies.
We think a lot about pollution in the air, the quality of what we are breathing; but we are usually referencing the air outdoors. The weather team on the local news even color codes the level of breathability. We oftentimes forget about the quality of the air we breathe INSIDE our homes and offices. But Americans spend more than 80 percent of their time indoors. Exposure to the wrong element in the air you breathe can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat. Common indoor pollutants include tobacco smoke, pollen, mold, dust and pet dander, all of which are often associated with asthmatic and allergic conditions.
How a Ductless System Can Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
In traditional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, your ductwork or air ducts are the means of travel for your conditioned air. Ducts are expensive to install and often difficult to maintain. Ducted HVAC systems are essentially two systems running together in concert: the part that conditions the air (heating or cooling it depending on the season), and the ductwork which pushes the conditioned air to the rooms of the building through vents.
Over time, these air ducts collect airborne particles and contaminants that are swept along with the conditioned air and are carried into the building’s indoor spaces. If the duct was not installed properly, or has been physically altered or damaged, there’s a possibility your system has been pushing dirty air throughout your home. Additionally, as ductwork ages over time, leaks can develop and the possibility of dust and contaminants entering the duct system increases.
All HVAC systems need to be regularly maintained and cleaned. That often falls to the homeowner, unless they have a pro-active service provider like AA Air Co. Because the ducts are often out of sight, they often become ‘out of mind’. At least until professional duct cleaning is needed to fully remove anything that builds up inside, to stop the spread of allergens, contaminants, and pollutants.
Breathing in these pollutants can definitely aggravate existing respiratory conditions like asthma and allergies. The American Lung Association (ALA)
reports poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of infections, lung cancer, and chronic lung diseases.
A ductless air conditioner
, as its name states, has no ducts. Because its conduit for refrigerant runs between the outdoor condenser and the indoor unit, there are no ducts involved and no contaminants trapped in the air path’s route. You can eliminate worry about what could be growing in, or blowing through, your home from years of build-up inside your ducts.
Filters Make the Difference
As air passes through the AC blower unit, every air conditioner utilizes an air filter to trap and remove pollutants and particulates. Window air conditioners use rudimentary filters that only catch large particulates like pet fur, but central and ductless systems both use improved filters that catch almost everything else.
Because they don’t use ducts, ductless systems clean the air
better than central air conditioners. They have filters that need regular and consistent cleaning, but ductless air conditioning system filters excel at removing solid particulates from the air.
Respiratory issues are most often caused by chemicals such as paint VOCs and cleaning products, and particulates such as dust, mold, and pollen. You can make conscientious changes to reduce chemicals in your home, and utilize the excellent filtration of a ductless AC system to catch any air-borne particulates.
Air filtration only works really well if your home is sealed up tight. Plus, unlike if you have window air conditioners, you will actually be able to use all of your windows. This offers you the opportunity to get full benefit of good air exchange on those dry, cool days.
It Might Be Time to Split
A ductless system, also known as a mini-split, is similar to a traditional central air conditioner with the obvious exception that it lacks the ducts common with forced-air cooling systems.
Installing a ductless air conditioner (AC) in your Tennessee home has quite a few benefits over a traditionally ducted air conditioner. Two of these benefits are helping to improve your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) and to control your home’s humidity.
Without ducts, there are no accumulated contaminants accidentally spreading through the building. Mini-split systems blow air directly into the space they are installed in. Since the air isn’t traveling through a duct, it will not bring any uninvited allergens or pollutants. Also, if you ever have an issue with the air blowing into that room, you only need to clean or repair that specific unit.
Ductless systems offer a great deal of flexibility when it comes to deciding on where, and how you would like to condition your home. If you prefer the air to blow in from up near the ceiling, it can be installed there. If you prefer it lower to make it more accessible, so you can clean the filter more often, that is possible too.
The professional and experienced Blueair team is expert in installing ductless HVAC systems, and has seen firsthand the advantages Knoxville area customers experience with these compact powerhouses of cooling.
Ductless Air Conditioner Helps Control Humidity
You can significantly improve your indoor air quality by controlling the amount of humidity present in your home. Most people find a relative humidity of 50 percent to be comfortable, but the outside humidity in East TN often climbs above 70 percent during the summer.
A Mini-Split is composed of two parts: an indoor and an outdoor unit. The indoor unit sucks warm air from the room and passes it over evaporator coils. The coolant (also called refrigerant) is contained in the coils, which absorbs the heat from the air over it, and that captured heat is channeled and disbursed back outdoors via the refridgerant system. The resulting cooled air is then released indoors.
Cool air does not hold as much moisture; this is why winter air is much drier. The evaporator coils cool the air flowing over, and moisture in the air condenses and is drained out of the unit. You will notice the change in humidity, especially in the morning, when you no longer see condensation on the windows.
“Dry Mode” is an option available on some mini-split systems. When using that feature, the fans operate at a slower speed. This allows the air to remain over the evaporator coil for a longer time, thus removing more moisture. This option allows you to leave the temperature set higher, but still significantly lower the humidity; effectively making the indoor air much more comfortable.
Ductless air conditioners are very efficient to operate and very effective at dehumidifying the indoor air. Lower humidity contributes to more healthy indoor air quality, but also reduces household pests, molds, and mildew that thrive in a wet environment. Controlling your home’s humidity is actually a fantastic avenue to improving indoor air quality.
Improving Indoor Air Quality Is the Answer
While our homes are becoming more and more airtight due to better construction methods, the trapped pollutants and contaminants within are contributing to our overall decline in wellness. The most direct response to this issue is improved indoor air quality.
A ductless air conditioner can be a wonderful way to support indoor air quality improvement, simply by not having ductwork involved in the process and controlling your home’s humidity.
An added feature that most people wouldn’t consider is elimination of sound pollution. Ductless systems are whisper quiet: indoor units operate as low as 19dB(A), quieter than a human whisper. Outdoor units operate as low as 58 dB(A)—the level of a restaurant conversation or background music.
AA-Air Co Is Your Indoor Air Quality Expert
Contact any one of our highly trained AA-Air Co professionals if you are considering installing a ductless air conditioner—or even if you currently have a ductless system—in your Knoxville, TN
, home. Call us at 865-689-5290 or request service online
to talk about your home’s indoor air quality and humidity control with one of these units.