Allergens in Your AC System Can Pose Serious Health Threats
The job of your AC unit is to keep you and your family comfortable indoors. And while your AC unit is keeping you cool, it could also be making you sick. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to identify potential risks and improve indoor air quality.
Harmful particles enter your home through breaks or spaces in the ductwork of your HVAC system while others grow after unnoticed and untreated water leaks have caused excessive moisture in walls, floors, carpets or ceilings. In addition, volatile organic compounds (VOCS) are released by household cleaners and solvents can also be circulated throughout your home by your HVAC system.
Potential Health Risks
Respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and excessive sneezing in otherwise healthy people has been linked to indoor exposure to biological growth, dust, VOCs, and excessive pollen. Prolonged exposure to these indoor pollutants can cause more severe illness, particularly in those with less robust immune systems, such as babies and the elderly. Furthermore, it’s been shown that early exposure to biological growth or allergens is linked to asthma and general shortness of breath in children, especially those with genetic susceptibility to develop asthma. If dust and pollen are being circulated throughout the house, asthma attacks can increase and breathing ability can be inhibited. If you or a member of your household has been diagnosed with asthma, exposure to these particulates could cause additional attacks and a need for stronger medication.
Fortunately, there is much a homeowner can do to improve indoor air quality and avoid potential health risks. Paying attention and being vigilant are the first steps to preventing trouble.
1. Excessive Moisture
Watch for water. As mold and spores are one such harmful particulate, be on the lookout for leaks or pooling water. Watch for wet spots near the indoor unit that could indicate a clog in the condensate drain line or pan. If you notice a clog, call us immediately to head off further issues.
Use a dehumidifier to control humidity levels in your home, particularly in spaces with a lot of moisture, such as the basement. Keep your home properly ventilated with exhaust fans, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms.
2. Sneaking In
Sealing the ducts will prevent harmful particles from entering your airflow system. In addition, when you seal your ducts, you’ll get stronger air flow through every register, resulting in even temperatures throughout the house and enough air flow to keep the home feeling fresh.
Using an air purifier in your home can also keep dust and pollen out of the inside air, relieving asthma and allergic reactions. In addition, replacing the air filter in your HVAC system air filter every 30 days instead of quarterly can trap particles before the can pose a problem.
Respiratory issues such as asthma and allergies can be exacerbated by biological growth, pollen, and dust circulating in your home. Fortunately, you can take steps to maintain good indoor air quality to keep your family healthy. Updating your air conditioning system, maintaining the ductwork, and fast cleanup of any moisture issues will be your best bet in keeping your home clear of allergens and these additional issues.
If you suspect respirator symptoms suffered by you or a family member are being caused by your AC unit, give Appliance Doctor a call. We can perform a thorough inspection of your AC Unit to identify any potential risks and ensure everything is running smoothly and safely.