Phoenix is a land of breathtaking beauty, but it’s also home to some rather interesting weather patterns. For example, now that we are in summer, we can expect to experience the Arizona Monsoon, which is a frightening combination of strong thunderstorms, very high winds and crazy dust clouds that can go as high as a couple of thousands of feet in height.
Phoenix residents, especially those who are new, often contact us after a strong monsoon asking if the dust storm could have affected their air conditioning units.
The great news is that your air conditioning unit isn’t usually bothered too much, considering the fact that air conditioners are designed and built to function in the outdoors where dust storms, heat and strong winds hit.
The outdoor air conditioning components are tightly sealed systems, and so there’s no risk of debris making its way inside the equipment and any dust you find in your home was probably blown in through tiny crevices between doors, windows, and trim work.
While your air conditioning unit can handle the occasional dust storm, it’s advisable to maintain a few items in between storms to keep your cooling unit operating at peak efficiency;
Massive dust storms are infamous for plugging filters to the point there’s no space left for airflow. Without the proper flow of air, your cooling system can’t take in your home’s air to cool, and it ceases to function optimally.
If nothing is done about your plugged filters, they can eventually cause your AC unit to break down. It’s good practice to replace your filters after a storm, even when only a small amount of dust was blown indoors. Also replacing your disposable filter with a reusable electrostatic filter will save you some money.
Depending on the intensity of the storm your ducts may have worked themselves loose. Even the tiniest opening in your ducts is too big and can eventually compromise the efficiency of your AC unit if left unchecked.
Have an expert HVAC technician inspect them after dust storms to ensure they are perfect. Sealing your ductwork is important in maintaining high indoor air quality.
Though the outdoor unit is tightly closed and can handle a dust storm, you’ll keep it running at optimal capacity if you give it a good clean after the storm passes. Turn off the power to the unit and rinse it off with a garden hose, paying particular attention to the fins surrounding it to dislodge all dust particles.
Many air handlers are designed to be only accessible by HVAC experts to avoid damage. At Service Smith, LLC., we can check your evaporator coil for dust accumulation and vacuum to ensure your air conditioning unit runs smoothly and efficiently and that your home gets good quality air.
Depending on the model of your air conditioning unit, check if you can easily access the air handler. If you can’t, it’s important to get a professional flush your condensation lines. This will remove all dust particles and debris. With the dust storm issue in Arizona, homeowners should have a clean-out installed on condensation lines that are not designed to pull out easily.
You air conditioning unit is an essential piece of equipment, especially in the Phoenix heat. Regular maintenance will prolong its life and ensure it continues running efficiently . Contact us today and let us help you enjoy cooling comfort for many years to come.