According to a survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, only nine percent of Americans consider indoor air quality a threat to their health.
This isn’t surprising, as the media typically focuses on highlighting the challenges we are experiencing with outdoor air quality, including high ozone levels and fine particle air pollution. That’s why we’ve all become accustomed to hearing about periodic air quality alerts, such as the air quality alert for the Greater Nashville area on May 16 of this year.
But the reality is that indoor air quality is likely a greater threat to your health, in part because you spend so much time in your home or apartment, particularly during the cold weather months. In fact, compromised indoor air quality can cause or worsen asthma, allergies, and other serious health conditions.
Signs Your HVAC System is Making You Sick
If you’re wondering whether your HVAC system may be compromising your health or the health of your family, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you feel better whenever you’re away from home?
- Do you feel like your house or apartment is always dusty?
- Is there a musty or stale smell when your HVAC system kicks on?
- Do you feel sluggish or feel a general malaise?
- Do you frequently find yourself sneezing, coughing or wheezing?
- Do you frequently have a headache, sore throat or runny nose?
If you find yourself answering ‘yes’ to these questions, your HVAC system may be making you sick because bacteria, dirt, dust, mold and other airborne pollutants are circulating whenever you run your heat (or air conditioning). Individuals who have allergies, are sensitive to mold, or have compromised immune systems are most at risk.
Keep a Journal To Document When You Feel Sick
It may be worth your while to begin keeping a journal, documenting the symptoms you are experiencing and when you experience those symptoms. If you find yourself getting frequent headaches or sore throats while at home, but not at work, for example, it could be a sign that your HVAC system is circulating contaminated air.
The good news is this is a straightforward problem to address. Simply make an appointment to have a reputable and experienced HVAC company inspect your HVAC system and your duct work. As we note on our duct work page, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends air duct cleaning when debris and dust clog the ducts and particles are released into your home from the air supply registers, or when you can see visible mold growth inside the ducts or other components of your HVAC system.
Preventative HVAC Maintenance Helps Avoid Problems
Then make sure you schedule regular preventative HVAC maintenance, which we recommend twice per year, once in the fall and once in the spring. At Jewell Mechanical we offer an Energy Savings Agreement that includes system diagnostic assessments, along with many other benefits, including priority customer status and discounts on any needed repairs.
Better yet, regular cleaning and maintenance not only removes contaminants it can also improve the efficiency of your system, resulting in lower energy bills. And, using less energy is better for the environment as a whole.
So if you feel like your HVAC system may be compromising your health, don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 615-469-5965.