Understanding the Health Hazards of a Poorly Maintained HVAC


During the warmer summer months, most people cannot afford to live without an air conditioning unit. Even so, cool has become a modern luxury that can sometimes scare people. If research findings are anything to go by, you are right to be worried about a poorly maintained or poorly designed AC system, whether you have it installed in your office, home, or vehicle. It can pose significant hazards if contaminated.

A study conducted to learn more about the health hazards that come with air conditioning systems indicates that poorly maintained AC units can result in more severe allergies and asthma problems.

If you do not treat HVAC maintenance and inspection with the seriousness it deserves, you could be exposing yourself and your family to significant dangers that come with poor indoor air quality. Poorly maintained AC units serve as a breeding ground for different viruses and bacteria, which can result in different kinds of respiratory problems.

In this article, we look at some of the different health hazards that may come with a poorly maintained AC unit and some of the best solutions.

1.  Mold Growth

Mold is one of the last things you want to have in your home. Apart from the respiratory issues that can potentially cause, it can potentially make your home less stable. If you fail to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your AC unit three or more times every year, your home will likely develop mold growth. Once you notice any mold starting to grow in or around the AC unit in your home, contact an HVAC technician so they can conduct an inspection.

2.  Poor Indoor Air Quality

Failing to conduct regular inspections on your HVAC system can significantly affect the indoor air quality in your home. Once your AC unit starts accumulating dust, dirt, mold, and other debris, it can severely pollute the air flowing through your house. Airborne particles building up can infect your home, causing respiratory diseases and allergies. You can solve this by timing your filter changes. Ignoring or failing to conduct HVAC maintenance practices puts your entire family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

3.  Rodent and Insect Infestations

Rodents and different kinds of insects like cockroaches are among the primary causes of diseases across the world. A poorly maintained AC unit often accumulates dirt in the air duct, which creates a conducive environment for such creatures to breed and live. In no time, you will have to deal with a pest problem. Regular AC unit maintenance can help you avoid such problems. However, you may have to call pest control if you already have the problem on your hands.

Common Diseases Associated With Poorly Maintained AC Units

Poorly maintained AC units are linked with various diseases. Legionnaires disease is one of the most common ailments. It is a variant of pneumonia contracted by breathing in a mist of contaminated water from air conditioning units, showers, and hot tubs.

Contaminated AC units can also cause asthma. Failing to clean HVAC systems over-extended durations can cause a buildup of mold and bacteria, which contaminates the air. Breathing in this contaminated air can trigger asthma.

Sick building syndrome is another disease commonly caused by poorly maintained HVAC systems. While it can be difficult to locate the specific cause of the disease, most experts link it to poor indoor air quality. Some of the most common symptoms of sick building syndrome include a dry cough, nasal congestion, dizziness, nausea, and throat irritation, to name just a few. Indoor air quality can result from poor air conditioning and dirty vents.

How to Control Health Hazards Associated With Poorly Maintained HVAC Systems

Regardless of how much you clean your home or HVAC system, contaminants will build up over time. That is why you need to invest in frequent maintenance and cleaning if you want to maintain the continuous circulation of clean and fresh air throughout your home. This way, you can also reduce the probability of contracting serious respiratory problems that may result from contaminated air from a poorly maintained HVAC unit.

Ideally, you should have an expert inspect your HVAC system at least three times every year. If you use it heavily, you should have it checked more often. Also, change the air filters regularly and check for any leaks. If you don’t have enough time to handle the basic maintenance practices, find an HVAC maintenance professional to do it on your behalf.

Poorly-maintained HVAC units present a lot of health hazards for you and your family. It can result in mold growth and poor indoor air quality. It also creates a breeding ground for rodents and insects, which can transmit diseases. Some of the most common ailments associated with a poorly maintained HVAC system include sick building syndrome, asthma, and legionnaires disease. You can manage some of the health hazards by frequently cleaning your home and HVAC system. Also, have an expert conduct an inspection at least three times a year.