A lot of people spend time, these days, circulating “life hacks” – little tips that are supposed to make life easier. One of them is placing a dryer sheet over the AC intake vent. The point is to make the room smell better – in fact, one of the recommendations is to use them in hotel rooms. Also, some people think they help filter the air. Maybe they’ll even make those expensive air conditioning filters last longer.
Question: Should I Put Dryer Sheets On My AC Intake Vent?
First, consider what’s on that dryer sheet. It’s covered with a surfactant compound that often contains ammonium salt – which is linked to asthma. Then, that fresh scent it has? It’s often made with something toxic. In fact, research shows that air vented from dryers using scented sheets is, indeed, somewhat toxic. The contents of dryer sheets are not properly regulated and dryers vent their air to the outside of your home, after all.
Second, adding a dryer sheet will reduce air flow. This will reduce the efficiency of your system and increase your power bill. Your system will have to work harder to reach the same level of cooling. Making your system work harder simply isn’t good for it and if you push it too hard, you’ll be asking yourself “why won’t my air conditioner work?” And you don’t want this issue to deal with. You’re going to shorten your system’s life and end up spending more on repairs and maintenance.
Third, you can create a fire hazard by blocking vents. This is more of an issue in the winter when hot air is going through the system.
Answer: NO! Never Blog the Vents
You should, in fact, never block air conditioning vents with anything. If the air from your air conditioning system smells bad, then it might mean that your AC system needs some work. This can be caused by mold on the evaporator coil, a clog in the drain line or even a leak in your ducts.
If you really want to get your AC to spread a nice smell through your home, try spraying a mixture of water and scented oil onto the out-flow vents – this won’t damage your system and the smell is likely to last longer. You can also buy air fresheners that attach to the filter, but don’t use dryer sheets! The only thing you’re going to do that way is set yourself up for higher electricity costs and possibly a nasty air conditioning service or maintenance bill.
ACE Home Services
Contact ACE Home Services for more information about AC efficiency and to schedule a tune-up of your unit. Our highly-trained technicians will ensure that your AC system is working its best to keep your family cool all summer long.