Puerto Rico’s Building Science Professionals Identify IAQ Issues Caused by Faulty Air Conditioners
Zimmetry Environmental provides indoor environmental quality (IEQ) services to identify airborne pathogens, contaminants, pollutants and irritants.
Bayamon, Puerto Rico -- With Puerto Rico’s often hot and humid climate, a properly functioning air conditioner provides a comfortable indoor environment for building occupants. Depending on where people live, work or go to school, air conditioning is often a necessity to maintain an indoor environment conducive for learning, working and living comfortably.
Maintaining the air conditioner is an important step to ensure it works properly, efficiently and provides good indoor air quality (IAQ). In addition to providing cool air and ventilation, air conditioners help to remove excessive humidity from the air which can help prevent the growth of mold and the presence of dust mites. Many types of air conditioners also have air filters that depending on the quality of the filtration can help to remove particles, allergens and respiratory irritants from the air people breathe.
Routine maintenance of an air conditioning system is important and some tasks can be handled by property owners and managers while other tasks may require the services of a professional. Basic maintenance tips include the following with the power shut off to the unit:
- Inspect duct work for signs of debris, contamination and obvious leaks
- Remove debris and plant growth from around the exterior condenser
- Clean the fins and outdoor unit, but do not use a pressure washer to prevent damage
- Look for bent or damaged fins and have them straightened
- Check to determine if any excessive settling has occurred
- Check for damage and wear, and clean the evaporator coil
- Inspect and clean the condensation drain
- Replace old air filters including those units with an outdoor air intake filter
- Checking airflow, thermostat accuracy and the amount of refrigerant or if there are any refrigerant leaks is often best handled by a qualified professional
“If an air conditioner is not working properly it can cause both uncomfortable conditions and even health concerns for anyone breathing the air,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “Exposure to particulates, chemicals, irritants, allergens, asthma triggers and microbial pathogens could all occur. At Zimmetry, our building science experts can identify these contaminants through testing and inspecting HVAC systems in commercial, institutional and residential properties. Our professionals can also measure humidity, particulates, airflow and determine if air exchange rates are adequate for the property.”
Zimmetry recently sponsored an educational video about air conditioner preventive maintenance and indoor air quality issues that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/_7g32k_0mA0