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When AC Supports Health: Proactive Tips for Uninterrupted Cooling

Air Conditioner
Central air conditioning has brought cool comfort to millions of homes across the nation. According to statistics compiled by the United States Census Bureau, 93 percent of single family homes built in 2017 included central air conditioning as standard equipment, as opposed to just 49 percent of the homes constructed in 1973. 

In some homes, however, the benefits of a climate-controlled home environment are less about comfort and much more about managing serious health issues or even preventing an untimely death. For these households, it is critical that the air conditioning system continue to operate reliably around the clock, no matter how hot the outside temperature gets. 

If your home includes a family member who depends upon air conditioning to manage a life-threatening illness or disease, the following tips will help both you and your loved one breathe easier. 

Schedule Preventative Maintenance

Air conditioning components, like all machines, require regular preventative maintenance to operate dependably and efficiently. In addition installing fresh filters frequently, homeowners who cannot afford for their HVAC system to fail should also schedule regular preventative maintenance for their system.

During this type of service, a skilled HVAC service technician will check all moving parts, belts, and electrical connections for wear or damage and replace them if needed.

Correct Humidity Issues

In addition to being aggressive with preventative maintenance, homeowners who depend on their home air conditioning systems for health reasons will also need to correct any existing humidity issues. Ideally, home humidity levels should hover between 30 and 50 percent.

Higher-than-normal humidity in the home causes fog on the interior surface of windows, odd musty odors, and often, a less comfortable home environment. For those dealing with an illness, excessive humidity can make it more difficult to breathe.

If the humidity issue is a temporary one, using a portable dehumidifier as needed may correct the issue. If the problem is larger in scope, installing a whole-house dehumidifier to augment the HVAC system is a better solution.

Budget for Regular Upgrades

Families who depend on their air conditioning systems for a loved one's health should also be proactive about upgrading it. Instead of leaving a system in place until problems develop and outages occur, maintain a permanent budget category for replacement so that upgrades are not limited by financial pressures. 

Have a Backup Plan 

When home air conditioning is a critical need for the health of a family member, having a backup plan is the smart thing to do. While proactive maintenance and regular upgrades of the system will greatly reduce the risk of a cooling system failure, they cannot completely prevent breakdowns from occurring.

Homeowners should also plan for situations in which they may experience a complete power outage in the home that would prevent the air conditioning system from working. A backup plan can be the difference between helping your loved one stay safe and comfortable and experiencing a life-threatening health emergency. 

When creating your backup plan, use multiple options so that your loved one can remain safe and comfortable. Some of these might include: 
  • Purchasing a small window air conditioning unit and a portable generator system to power it
  • Transferring the family member to an on-site recreational vehicle or camping trailer equipped with air conditioning
  • Maintaining a list of nearby shelters and public buildings where air conditioning is available
When time is critical, you can temporarily make your family member comfortable in your air conditioned vehicle while you arrange for a better solution. 

At Matthew Roberts Incorporated, we understand the challenges you face in trying to keep an ill family member safe and comfortable. Contact us for assistance with any questions you may have about maintaining or upgrading your home's air conditioning system.