Many people seem to believe that air conditioners pull fresh air from outside the house and bring it inside. For some, this causes concern when there are high pollen days or a lot of pollutants in the air. The truth is that most air conditioners do not pull air from outside. Here you can see how air conditioners work and what kind of air you are getting from them:
Where Does the Air Come From?
If you take a moment to inspect your air conditioning unit, you will see that there is an inside component and an outside component, connected by copper lines. These copper lines are filled with refrigerant, either in a liquid or gaseous state. That is the only thing that is passing between the two units. The air that is surrounding your outside unit is just outside air, and the air coming from your inside unit is inside air.
How Your AC Unit Works
The indoor portion of your unit has an air conditioner return air intake, usually located on the ceiling. This return air intake grille typically includes some type of filter to keep dust and debris out, while allowing air to pass through. The air passes through the filter of the unit, and quickly passes over the supercooled coils inside. This process transfers the heat out of the air and into the coils, before the now-cold filtered air is pushed back out into your home. You can verify this by using a particle tester to measure the dust particles in your ambient room air versus the air coming out of your AC unit. It will be exactly the same, if not a little cleaner thanks to the AC filter.
Likewise, your outdoor unit uses a fan to draw air in, taking the heat back out of the refrigerant and allowing it to cool down once more before being recycled. That air simply passes through the outdoor unit, whisking away heat and continuing along.
Why It’s Important
Now that you understand how air conditioners work a little better, you can see that any air quality issues you may be having are contained within your house. If you are struggling with indoor air quality in your home, you may need to take additional steps to clean up your air so that your air conditioner does not continue to recirculate allergens through your home. A certified HVAC contractor in Phoenix can help you solve this problem in no time.
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