Should You Run Your AC When Air Quality is Bad?

When the air quality outside is poor, we are often left wondering if we’re bringing nasty particles and pollutants into our homes by turning on the AC.

Shockingly, the quality of our indoor air, without sufficient ventilation, can be much worse than the air out in the street.

Air quality experts explain whether we are safe to run our AC when the air quality is compromised, so we can breathe easy.

Should You Run Your AC When Air Quality Is Bad?

If you are concerned about allergens and smoke particles, invest in one of the best air purifiers for peace of mind, and remember to clean air conditioners regularly so that the filters are free of dust. This will alleviate symptoms, like itchy eyes, headaches and difficulty breathing, which could be a result of poor air quality.

Should you run air conditioning when the air quality outside is bad? ‘Absolutely,’ says Tony Abate, HVAC specialist at AtmosAir Solutions. Dayna Hottle, general manager of C&C heating & air conditioning agrees: ‘When outside air quality is bad it is best to continue to utilize your air conditioning system,’ she says.

Tony explains that you don’t actually need to heat or cool the air when running our air conditioning and that turning it on will allow the system filters to work to trap and clean particles out of the air. ‘If you have other purification systems like Ultra or bi-polar ionization systems, these are all dependent on airflow so running the AC is needed.

‘Also running the AC helps to pressurize the space to help to keep bad air out,’ he explains.