Can your HVAC unit make you sick?

Can your HVAC unit make you sick?

While it’s unlikely that your HVAC unit is solely responsible for illness, it could possibly be part of the problem. And inversely, a well-functioning HVAC unit can play a role in keeping you healthy.

Stop mold before it starts

It only stands to reason that the quality of the air you’re breathing could have an effect on your health. If your HVAC unit is old and hasn’t been maintained properly, there’s a chance it could be blowing mold spores into the air. Mold is unhealthy anywhere in your house, but especially if it is in the air you constantly breathe. Some mold can release mycotoxins that can have an adverse effect on your health. In severe cases, mycotoxins can cause pneumonia — particularly in young children and the elderly. 

The best way to prevent mold is by keeping your air conditioning ducts free of dirt and debris, but also by making sure there isn’t standing water. Some condensation is to be expected but too much water can lead to mold. If you find water and are unable to locate the source, you’ll want to consult a professional. If you find mold, we do not advise you to clean it up yourself. Doing so may expose you to additional danger. You should contact a professional immediately.

Filter out risks

When your dirty filter goes unreplaced, your unit is at risk. A dirty filter makes your unit work harder, meaning it will take longer to cool your home, meaning your utility bill can increase. A new, clean filter can keep your unit running smoothly. 

We recommend changing your air filter every two months if you have pets and every three months if you don’t. But you should check the filter on the first of every month just to see if it needs to be changed ahead of schedule. 

A breath of fresh air

For all of the wonderful benefits HVAC units provide, one of the potential health risks is that they can be a pretty effective way to spread bacteria and allergens. In Tennessee, where the summers can reach 100 degrees and winter temperatures can drop to single digits, we wouldn’t recommend getting rid of your HVAC unit in an effort to be healthier. But we would highly suggest you sign up for the Roscoe Brown Heating and Air Maintenance Agreement. 

The single most important step you can take to save money, save energy, extend your current equipment’s life and live comfortably in your home is to schedule semi-annual (twice a year) maintenance on your HVAC system. With it, you can rest assured your home will remain comfortable and operate efficiently and economically all year long. Regular tune-ups can improve efficiency and reduce your energy bills. 

The Roscoe Brown annual heating tune-up consists of filter check, gas valve, operation of safety controls, sequencer, heating element in operation, CO level, heat exchanger; clean blower, interior of manifold compartment, pilot, burners; test for gas leaks; clean and calibrate thermostat; check and clean humidifier; check heat pump reversing valve and defrost cycle.

The air conditioning tune-up consists of a filter check, compressor performance, freon charge, all safety controls, test crankcase heater, operating pressure. We will also inspect condenser coil, evaporator coil, evaporator drain pan, condensate drain, blower and clean if necessary. We’ll record superheat. We’ll lubricate all necessary parts. And, finally, we’ll clean and calibrate the thermostat.

You’ll rest easier knowing that your system is performing at its peak capability. And you’ll probably breathe a little easier too.