Removing and Preventing Dust Buildup In Your Air Conditioner

Dusty HVAC systems can spell trouble for your cooling system and your health. Homeowners often call us asking how to get rid of the excess dust in their AC unit. After all, there’s nothing worse than dusting only to have more dust blow from your vents. 

We’ve created this handy guide to give you some strategies to tackle this common problem so your space remains as clean and allergen-free as possible. It’ll also do wonders for your HVAC system’s efficiency! 

Keep reading below to become another one who fights the dust. 

What causes excessive dust in your home AC unit? 

Excessive dust in your home’s AC unit can be more than just a minor nuisance. It’s often the main reason behind bad air quality and allergy flare-ups. But where is all the dust coming from? 

Here are some common culprits:

  • Natural Accumulation: As annoying as it may be, dust is a natural part of living. It’s typically a combination of outdoor soil particles, pollen, clothing fibers, hair and dead skin cells. In the winter, you may notice more since we spend more time indoors. However, summer time can bring outdoor dust particles inside.  
  • Construction or Renovation Projects: Nearby construction or renovations can elevate dust and dirt levels in the air, quickly clogging up air filters and coating the interior components of your air conditioner.
  • Household Dust: Common household activities like sweeping, vacuuming, and even walking can stir up dust settled on surfaces, allowing it to circulate and eventually enter the HVAC system.
  • Fabric Fibers: Regular use of textiles such as floor carpets, curtains, and upholstered furniture can produce fibers that add to the overall dust level in a space.
  • Pet Dander: Homes with furry friends may notice increased dust and potential allergens in the air.
  • Air Leaks: Broken seals or leaks in ductwork can introduce dust from attics, crawl spaces, and walls into the circulated air.

Addressing these concerns by regularly maintaining your HVAC system will help maintain a cleaner, healthier living space.

5 Ways dust can affect your AC 

Dust accumulation within an air conditioning unit can lead to several issues, some more immediately noticeable than others. Here’s a look at these challenges and their implications:

  1. Restricted air flow: A clogged filter, burdened with excess dust, hinders air from passing freely through the system. This restriction forces the AC unit to work harder to circulate air, likely causing a noticeable decrease in comfort within your home.
  2. Decreased efficiency: When dust covers the components of your air conditioner, especially the evaporator and condenser coils, it insulates against proper heat transfer, causing the system to run longer and use more energy, ultimately decreasing overall efficiency. 
  3. Impaired indoor air quality: Dust particles that escape filtration can freely circulate within your indoor space, contributing to poor indoor air quality. This can become a health concern, especially for those with respiratory issues or allergies.
  4. Increased maintenance and repair costs: With an added strain on the unit due to dusty conditions, the internal parts may wear out faster. This means more frequent maintenance needs and potentially costly repairs.
  5. More breakdowns and longer downtime: A dust-laden AC unit is at a higher risk of unexpected malfunctions. In addition to the inconvenience, the wait for parts or service can mean extended periods without climate control, affecting the comfort of your home.

Noticing any of these signs? There are a number of things you can do to help stop some of the dust from circulating in your HVAC system. We’ll cover how to clean your AC unit and replace filters in the next section. If you need help with cleaning your unit or the dust issue is severe, contact one of our technicians to look at your system. 

How to clean your AC unit

Maintaining your air conditioning system isn’t just about keeping your house cool; it’s also about protecting your family from germs, allergens, and ensuring the air you breathe is clean. 

Proper cleaning of your AC unit will help it run efficiently and maintain clean, healthy air. Here’s a simple DIY guide to help you safely clean your unit:

  1. Safety first: Always switch off the power to your AC unit before starting any maintenance to prevent accidents.
  2. Clean or replace the air filter: Slide out the air filter. If it’s reusable, clean it with warm water and dish soap, let it dry, and then put it back in place. If it’s disposable, insert a new filter of the same size and specifications.
  3. Clean the condenser coils: Use a garden hose to gently dislodge dust and dirt from the condenser coils of the outdoor unit. Be cautious not to bend or damage the delicate fins.
  4. Check the coil fins: If you notice that any fins are bent, straighten them out with a fin comb for better airflow.
  5. Unclog the drain: Clear any clogs in the drain located at the back of your AC unit to prevent water buildup and humidity issues in your home.
  6. Wipe down internal components: With the power off, remove the panel and use a damp towel to gently wipe down accessible internal components.
  7. Test the unit: Once everything is completely dry, turn the power back on and test it to make sure it works. Check the vents to ensure it’s cooling effectively and listen closely for any unusual noises. 

Maintenance tips to prevent dust build up

Now that we’ve covered how to clean your cooling system, here are some tips to keep your home a dust-free zone. 

  • Change your filters regularly: Experts recommend changing these every three months depending on your filter type and home needs. Pet owners should change them more often. 
  • Household cleaning: Set yourself a reminder to clean the vents and accessible parts of your AC unit at least once a season. Also be sure to keep the area around your system clear as well. 
  • Professional tune-up and inspection: At least once a year, have a professional check your system and ductwork. Clean ducts and a functional unit means increased efficiency and fewer contaminants and germs in your living space. 
  • Consider a ventilation system: Ask your technician about ventilation systems. These can help get fresh, clean air in and stale, dusty air out. Our air purification services can help make sure the air in your home stays clean and breathable. 

Contact the technicians at Anderson Air to service your AC unit

For homeowners in Siloam Springs seeking a sustainable solution to prevent unnecessary costs and worries about indoor air quality, the conclusion is clear: proactive and regular maintenance of your HVAC system is key. 

With the information provided in this guide, you can avoid just reacting to HVAC issues and engage in preventative care that keeps your living space clean, your air clean, and your wallet happy. 

The best way to keep your system running smoothly is to hire professionals who know what they’re doing. Anderson Air has over 50 years of experience in serving the customers in our community of northwest Arkansas. 

Remember, Anderson Air is just a call away, ready to provide you with the best service in Arkansas. 

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