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Is your air conditioning system ready for the upcoming summer? Have you done all that is necessary to prevent damage during the winter? Do you know what you have to do before you turn the air conditioning on for the first time this year? You can learn all of this and so much more by visiting my site. The tips, advice and information you find on my site will be valuable in many ways. You can learn a few things to do on your own to save a little money on your yearly use and maintenance of your air conditioning equipment.


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caring for your air conditioning equipment

Strange Allergy Symptoms? You Might Have A Dirty Cooling System

by Amy Henry

If you develop a severe cough, postnasal dripping, and a stuffy nose that only go away when you physically leave your home, you might have a dirty cooling system. Cooling systems rely on air ducts, vents, and an air handler to work properly. These parts can build up with dirt, pet hair, and numerous other contaminants throughout the year. The contaminants can invade your house and cause allergy symptoms similar to yours. With the following tips, you can find relief from your strange allergy symptoms.

Clean the Surfaces in Your Home

Take a walk around your home. If large amounts of dust coat your furnishings, countertops, and appliances, chances are you have a dirty cooling system. Air handlers use air ducts to remove warm air from the home and to send cool air back into the home. During this ongoing process, dust can build up inside the ducts and blow back into your house through vents.

The particles of dust float around your house until they find surfaces to land on. This can be a big problem for people prone to allergies. Dust contains many different types of contaminants that include pet hair, mold spores, and dust mites. The contaminants can enter your nasal passages and lungs with every breath you take. If you constantly expose your respiratory system to dust, you eventually become ill.

You can find some relief from your dusty home by cleaning every surface in your house, including your flooring. Dust can float up into the air when disturbed, so wear a nasal mask during your cleaning. Also, use a damp cloth to keep the dust from floating away during the cleaning. 

After you clean your home, check the air handler for dust buildup.

Check and Clean the Evaporator Coil and Air Filter

Dust and other debris can cover or block your air handler's evaporator coil and air filter over time. Not only does this cause problems for your home's indoor air quality, it can also wreak havoc on your cooling system. Clogged evaporator coils can freeze up or stop cooling properly.

You can check the coil and air filter to see if they require cleaning and changing. First, turn off your cooling system and remove the air filter. If debris completely covers the air filter, check the evaporator coil inside the air handler. Remove the panel covering the coil with a screwdriver.

The evaporator looks similar to a large pyramid. The part should also have tiny pieces that look similar to fish scales on its surface. The fins allow air to move over and through the coil. If the coil is clean, you'll be able to see the fins without any problems. But if the coil is dirty or blocked, you won't have a clear view of the coil's surface or fins.

Some sources recommend using bleach to clean evaporator coils, but bleach can release toxic odors that aggravate your symptoms. You can clean the coil with vinegar instead. Simply fill one large spray bottle with about 2 or 3 cups of regular household vinegar. Cover the flooring inside the air handler's closet with a plastic tarp to protect it from the vinegar.

It's also important that you wear gloves and your face mask during the cleaning. Particles of debris can break free from the coil and enter your nasal passages. Saturate the coil's surface with the vinegar, then allow it to break down the debris. You can also clean the coil with a soft toothbrush to help break up the debris.

Examine the surface of the coil as you clean it. If you can see the tiny fins, you've cleaned the coil. Be sure to wait for the coil to completely dry before you turn back on the cooling system. Your symptoms may go away once the air quality improves in your home.

But if your symptoms continue, or if the evaporator coil builds back up with debris, contact an air conditioning contractor like those found at Hartman Heating, Air and Fireplaces for assistance. You may need to have the coil and your air ducts professionally examined and cleaned.