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Could My HVAC System Be Making My Family Sick?

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We’re all paying greater attention to our health these days because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you or someone in your household has been displaying respiratory symptoms, you’ll probably want to get to the root of it. Usually, we blame runny noses, sneezing, and coughing on changes in the season or the weather. We may even attribute our symptoms to the conditions at the office. However, now that we’re all spending more time at home, it may become apparent that something in the house is responsible.

Believe it or not, your home’s heating, cooling, and ventilation system can make you feel quite unwell. That’s because the system affects the quality of the air in your home. You may experience everything from respiratory problems to skin irritation and headaches. In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the health issues that can be attributed to HVAC systems. Then, we’ll tell you how you can go about fixing the problem with help from a South Carolina HVAC professional.

Common Health Problems Caused by Poor Indoor Air Quality

The air in your home affects your health more than you may think. Here are some of the symptoms people in your household may experience.

Runny Noses 

The air generated by air conditioning units is often cold and dry and this can cause a constantly runny nose. If your HVAC unit doesn’t have a humidifying function, you’ll need to buy a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Turning down the AC may also bring relief.

Breathing Problems

You need to clean your air conditioner thoroughly and regularly. Otherwise, it will become a home for bacteria and fungi. Dirty HVAC units can also support the growth of black mold since moisture builds up in the ducts and coil. This is because of the condensation that’s produced when cold air goes through the unit.

If you or someone is your home is finding it difficult to breathe, you should begin paying more attention to your HVAC system. Get it checked regularly by a professional and change your filters monthly especially if you have furry pets or someone in the home smokes.

Headaches and Migraines

A number of things can cause occupants of a building to develop migraines or regular headaches. These include carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds like cleaning supplies and air fresheners. You need to ensure your appliances are in proper working order and that you don’t use harmful chemicals or store them in the home. You also need to make sure that air is circulating adequately.

Watery, Itchy Eyes

Itchy eyes are usually a response to an allergen. You may assume you’re safe from pollen and other outdoor allergens if you’re spending more time indoors. However, if your ductwork has holes, unfiltered air can get into your home. This is another reason why you should get an expert to check your system annually. They will inspect your ductwork and look for leaks or gaps.

What to Do to Prevent Health Problems

If your family has been experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to address the problem. Trying to get a comfortable temperature in your home shouldn’t result in illness. Here are some things you need to do.

  • Get some fresh air. If you begin to feel ill whenever you turn on your heat, open a window. Contact a professional so they can inspect your system and determine whether you have a carbon monoxide leak. High levels of carbon monoxide are dangerous.
  • Get your ducts cleaned. Clean ductwork ensures air flows as it is supposed to and there’s no dirt or dust to cause sneezing or coughing. 
  • Get a HEPA filter. Replaceable furnace filters are more economical but it’s best to purchase a permanent HEPA filter. Since these can capture more than 90 percent of the particles in the air, they will help to ensure your air is clean.
  • Get an upgraded central heating system. Old systems can produce harmful levels of carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide.  If you’ve had your setup for a while, reach out to a local HVAC contractor and find out if it’s time for a replacement.

Contact C&L Services Today to Discuss Your HVAC Needs

If the air quality in your home is poor, this could be the cause of your family’s symptoms. Instead of suffering while you experience breathing problems, sneezing, or watery eyes, get your HVAC system inspected. The heating and cooling professionals at C&L Services will assess your equipment and advise you on whether it needs cleaning, replacing, or repairing. Contact us today to learn more!

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