Keep Indoor Air Quality High During Monsoon Season

Forrest Anderson Plumbing and AC Offers Simple Tips for Homeowners

Every summer, Arizona gets hit with extreme temperatures and Monsoon storms that kick up dirt, debris, and other contaminants that can be dangerous to breathe. The added threat of the coronavirus has kept more people at home, making indoor air quality more important to our health than ever before.

There are several steps Valley families can take to maintain a healthy home environment, say the experts at Forrest Anderson Plumbing and Air Conditioning Inc. (Forrest Anderson). After more than 50-years of service in the Valley, they’ve seen what storms can do to HVAC systems and indoor air quality.

“No one can stop a dust storm, but we can minimize the damage and protect our family’s health by taking simple steps to block airborne contaminants,” said Audrey Monell, President of Forrest Anderson. “I tell all our customers when they see a storm rolling into the area, the most important thing they can do is to shut off their air conditioner to prevent it from pulling in all that dirt and everything else that is blowing around.”

Turning off the A/C unit may seem counterintuitive in the middle of July, but keeping the HVAC unit running will cause it to suck in swirling dust which can create an unhealthy breathing environment that circulates around the home.

Here are seven steps homeowners can take to improve indoor air quality during the Monsoon.

  1. Turn off the A/C unit before a Monsoon dust storm hits your neighborhood
  2. Check the home’s air filters after every big storm and replace them if they are dirty to improve air quality and reduce the strain on the HVAC system. Most homeowners can use 1” pleated filters to trap small particles, but anyone with respiratory issues should consider filters with a higher MERV rating between 8-13 for the best indoor air quality improvement.
  3. Seal air leaks around windows and doors to keep dust, water, and heat from seeping in.
  4. Consider adding UV Light technology to the HVAC system which has been shown to kill 99.99% of viruses, bacteria, fungus, and mold as they pass through the air handler system, reducing contaminants in the air and on surfaces.
  5. Check to make sure the drain line on your A/C unit is dripping after any monsoon rainstorm, if it isn’t dripping water it needs to be cleared of debris.
  6. Install a condensate safety switch. This will shut your unit down if the line gets clogged and stop water leaking and damaging your home
  7. Install a surge protector to prevent power surges and lightning strikes from tripping your home’s circuit breaker and damaging the A/C unit and other electronics.

To further prepare for Monsoon storms, Monell also recommends checking the HVAC unit to make sure it is operating in peak condition by cleaning condenser coils, checking drain lines, and sealing any holes in the air ducts.

While most of these steps can be DIY, during extreme temperatures its safer to call in a professional.

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