Two Ways Smoking In Your Home Can Damage Your Air Conditioner

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Most people are already aware of how smoking cigarettes negatively impacts their health. However, many don't realize that smoking can also damage their homes. Specifically, smoking in the house can harm your air conditioner, resulting in increased repair costs, reduced efficiency, and a decreased lifespan. Here are the two ways smoking can affect your A/C unit.

Reduced Filter Lifespan

The most immediate impact of cigarette smoke on the air conditioner is the decreased lifespan of the filter. The purpose of an air filter is to prevent dirt and debris from getting into the unit and causing clogs and other problems. Experts recommend you change or clean air filters at least once per month.

However, the air quality in your home has a major impact on how frequently you will need to tend to the A/C filter. According to some research, a single cigarette releases between 7 and 23 milligrams of particulates, which is a lot considering its size. These particulates not only get into your lungs but are also released into the air to mix with the dust, pet dander, and other things that may already be floating around. This increased indoor air pollution means your filter is picking up more debris and needs to be changed or cleaned more often as a result.

Failure to keep the filter clear can lead to a variety of problems with your air conditioner unit. A clogged filter reduces air flow, which forces your A/C to work harder and longer to compensate. The unit may not cool your home as well as it used to. After a period of time, the cooling coil may freeze and damage the compressor as a result, requiring repair or replacement. Another possible outcome of a clogged filter is the air handler may overheat and breakdown, which can cost up to $3,500 to replace.

If you smoke in your home, you'll want to check your air filter at least 2 or 3 times a month and change or clean it as necessary.

Chemical Buildup

According to the American Lung Association, there are about 600 ingredients in cigarettes, and at least 7,000 chemicals are produced when a person smokes one. Although the filter in your air conditioner unit will catch some of these chemicals, it won't get them all. This means some of the chemicals found in cigarette smoke will pass through the filter and settle on the components in your air conditioning unit.

Chemicals like tar and nicotine are sticky and prone to attracting and capturing dust. This means the dirt inside your air conditioner unit will likely build up at a faster rate and reduce the efficiency of interior components. While an air conditioner does put out cold air, the machine generates heat in the process. Those same sticky chemicals from the cigarette smoke can also act like a blanket and prevent the air conditioning components from eliminating heat in an efficient manner. This can cause them to run hotter than normal and wear out faster over time.

To prevent this from happening, you'll need to take your air conditioner apart and clean the interior on a regular basis. Not only can this help your unit run more efficiently, but cleaning the inside will help eliminate the smell of stale smoke your unit may be emitting each time it runs.

The best preventative measure you can take to avoid damaging your air conditioning unit is to not smoke in your home. While it may not be fun to stand outside in the cold or rain to enjoy a cigarette, the amount of money you'll save by avoiding the harm cigarette smoke can do to your unit may be worth the sacrifice. For more tips on maintaining your unit or assistance with fixing an issue, connect to an air conditioning repair company near you, such as Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc.