This is not clickbait. Your air conditioning unit, or HVAC, can actually kill you. Properly maintained HVAC systems have many benefits. However, those with poor maintenance tend to be the dwelling place of many bacteria and viruses that cause many respiratory ailments. This threat is no joke, and you can endanger your whole family’s health if you fail to clean your air-conditioning unit properly. In this article, we list the diseases you might contract from unkempt HVAC systems and how you can make sure you and your family breathe only fresh air.
What are the diseases associated with poorly maintained HVAC systems?
- Legionnaire’s disease – this disease first appeared in July 1976 during the annual American Legion’s three-day annual convention held in Pennsylvania. Several days after the convention, some members of the organization died from an unknown respiratory disease. By the time the doctor’s found out what’s causing the disease, hundreds were already infected, and the death toll reached 34. Later, it was discovered that the air conditioning unit of the hotel where the event was held was the culprit. The legionnaire’s disease is a form of pneumonia. One can contract by breathing in a mist of contaminated water from hot tubs, air conditioning units, or showers.
- Asthma – contaminated HVAC systems can also trigger asthma. If AC units are not cleaned for prolonged periods of time, bacteria and mold can build up and contaminate the unit’s air.
- Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) – the cause of SBS can be hard to trace. But most experts agree that poor indoor air quality is one of the main causes of this illness. Symptoms can include nasal congestion, dry cough, throat irritation, dizziness, and nausea, among others. Indoor air quality can be compromised by many factors such as biological contaminants, unclean vents, and poor air conditioning.
How can you prevent the occurrence of such diseases?
No matter how clean you are at home, pollutants will eventually pile up over time. That’s why regular cleaning and maintenance is essential if you want continuous circulation of fresh and clean air in your home. It can also reduce the possibility of contracting fatal respiratory illnesses.
Ideally, you should check your HVAC system for any damage at least twice a year. But if you use it extensively, you can even do quarter or triannual checkups.
Changing air filters regularly and checking for leaks are the first steps in maintaining your HVAC system. But some people do not have the time to do the cleaning and maintenance themselves. If this is the case, you can hire professional HVAC cleaners such as Oak View Mechanical to thoroughly inspect your HVAC system and do repairs if necessary.
Benefits of well-maintained HVAC system
- Savings – you can save a lot on utility bills with a well-maintained HVAC system. Regularly cleaned air conditioning units lower energy consumption, thereby resulting in reduced electricity costs. Moreover, HVAC systems are not cheap. If you fail to do regular maintenance checks and prevent small damages, your HVAC might not last and break down before it has reached its expected lifespan.
- Ventilation – properly cleaned HVAC systems not only improve air quality but overall ventilation and humidity inside your house as well. It also prevents mold and bacteria buildup.
- Better sleep – the ideal room temperatures for our bodies to get a good night’s sleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Studies show that rooms with good air conditioning and ventilation aid in better sleep quality. Cool and comfortable environments help our bodies relax and fall asleep faster.
- Prevention of respiratory illness – as mentioned earlier, badly maintained HVAC systems entail health risks. By properly cleaning your AC unit, you can prevent pollutant buildup that can trigger different respiratory problems.
- Reduced possibility of heat-related illness – nearly 10,000 Americans have died due to heatstroke. Global warming and climate change pose serious threats to our health due to significant spikes in temperatures. AC units can help you sleep peacefully at night, knowing you are well-ventilated.
- Environment-friendly – for those people concerned about the carbon footprint of using air conditioning units, a regularly maintained HVAC system will consume less energy and less fuel, resulting in reduced carbon dioxide emission.
Most people might downplay the adverse health impacts of poorly maintained HVAC systems. But the danger is real. Simple maintenance checks will go a long way. It can help you save not just on electric bill costs and system replacement. It also cuts medical expenses by saving you a trip from the hospital due to unwanted respiratory and heat-related illnesses.