Many Northern California homeowners neglect cleaning their HVAC systems since they are hidden out of sight. Moreover, it’s vital to realize that there are nasty things lurking within the HVAC system which can contribute to several health problems. These are a few reasons why you should never neglect cleaning and maintaining an HVAC system.
1. Pathogens and Contaminants
Contaminants can quickly spread into the air by getting into the air conditioner. This can cause a Sick Building Syndrome if your entire house is served by a single HVAC system and ductwork. Everyone in the household can get sick because of this. The viruses and bacteria can quickly spread to other parts of the system using the ductwork along with conditioned air. You can remove contamination sources with periodic system maintenance and cleaning. This includes cleaning the ductwork, coils, and filters.
2. Mold and Mildew
Contaminants are usually aggravated by humidity. Based on this, mold thrives when its humid. Dirty air conditioner coils don’t allow enough air within the system. This makes perfect conditions for mold to grow. Most types of mildew and mold can cause allergic reactions and a number of problems in both elderly and children. You should pay particular attention to this contaminant if you have someone with respiratory problems in the household.
3. VOCs and Chemicals
There are many household cleaners and building materials that contain VOCs, which can have a considerable negative impact on health. Volatile organic compounds are gases that include formaldehyde and ozone. Ozone is not something you want to breathe. VOCs can be present in the following:
- Cleaning supplies
- Cigarette smoke
Most chemicals when emitted are not a cause for concern if in low doses. Correlating with this, they can become highly dangerous when inhaled in high concentrations. Chemicals tend to accumulate in sealed-off and poorly ventilated buildings. As per a report by the EPA, VOCs can be 10 times more concentrated inside a house than outside. This makes it important that you maintain your air conditioner regularly.
You may want to believe that your home is a refuge from the smog-filled and polluted air on the streets. This is especially if you live in a large, populous city. Stemming from this, pollution can wreak havoc inside the home as well. You need to ensure that your HVAC installation is as per urban environments. Poor ventilation is a major contributor to indoor pollution. You should keep the vents open and the ductwork clean. You should also make sure the air filters are replaced or cleaned regularly.
5. Pet Dander and Dust Mites
People with animal allergies know that they don’t necessarily need to be in proximity with an animal for their allergy to get triggered. Animals can shed and leave behind dander and fur. These can get airborne and make your indoor air quality poor.
Another reason to have your system cleaned regularly is to prevent dust mites from getting inside the HVAC unit. Microscopic insects feed on dust and thrive in humid and warm environment. HVAC ductwork can accumulate a lot of dust if not cleaned properly. You need to make sure that you clean or change filters if you live in a place with a lot of dust or have animals.