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Touchstone Heating & Air Inc. Blog

Using Your AC Less Not Only Saves Money, It’s Better for Your Health!

woman-with-thermometerWhat’s the best way to lower how much you pay to run your air conditioner during the summer? That’s an easy one to answer: run the air conditioning system less often!

That’s a bit easier said than done, but if you remember to raise the thermostat to higher levels (such as around 78°F during the day when people are home), you’ll see a noticeable drop in your cooling costs.

However, this post isn’t focusing on saving money by using the AC less often. It’s about the health benefits of running your air conditioner less often.

Wait … my AC is dangerous?

No, not unless you dive into it with pliers while it’s running and fiddle around with the wiring. Or breaking open a refrigerant line, since refrigerant is harmful and has to be handled carefully. And in many cases, an air conditioner can be a literal lifesaver! During heat waves, an air conditioner protects people from the dangers of heatstroke.

So what could be unhealthy about the AC?

The major potential health problem an AC can present is lowering indoor humidity too far. An air conditioner is not specifically designed as a dehumidifier, but it does have dehumidifying properties. As the evaporator coil draws heat from the air in the house, moisture is also pulled out of the air. If you run the air conditioner all the time, it can end up drying out the house. Dry indoor conditions aren’t healthy: it makes it easier for illnesses to spread from person to person and causes cracked skin and eye and nose irritation. If this problem is common in your house, you may need air conditioning repair in Newberry, FL or possibly a new AC. (A dried-out house is often a warning that too large an AC was installed.)

Then there are the problems an air conditioner can create if it hasn’t been properly maintained. We’ve often talked about the many benefits of arranging for regular maintenance for your central air conditioner: energy efficiency, reliability, extended service life, keeping the warranty valid. Now we’ll add another one: making sure the AC doesn’t get you sick.

In Florida, mold and mildew growth are common problems, and they can easily start to develop inside the AC system, such as along the evaporator coil. This can mean harmful mold spores sent all around the house. A dirty, neglected air conditioning system can also start to develop bacteria inside of it, another source for “sick building syndrome” that can affect homes.

Finally, it’s good for your health to be occasionally too warm. Running the AC all the time to keep the house cool can end up slowing down people’s metabolism. So take some time during one of the cooler parts of the day to shut down the AC and open your home’s windows to allow stale air to escape!

If you have any questions about your AC, feel free to call our local experts.

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