Featured Image Caption: Health Hazards at Home
Home is supposed to be a safe place where we can relax and enjoy time with our families. But even in our cozy homes, danger still lurks in the dark places that are typically out of sight. The good news is that these hidden dangers are very easy to control and you can take preventative steps to keep you and your family safe. So, where do these dangers hide? You might be surprised to find that the dangers aren’t in your bathtub or those cracks in your front walkway, but rather it’s in your HVAC system.
Your house’s HVAC system keeps your home cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and circulates the air year-round. Most people don’t think much of their HVAC system until something breaks down. But even if nothing appears to be wrong, your health might be suffering.
Here are some hidden HVAC dangers to watch out for.
Leaking gas or oil
This might be the most dangerous one because if there’s a leak in your HVAC system, you’re in real danger of fatal carbon monoxide poisoning. This is why having carbon monoxide detectors located throughout your house is very important. If a detector alarm goes off, or you and your family start experiencing flu-like symptoms, get out of the house and call your local emergency number. Do not search for the leak yourself.
Dirty Air Ducts
While not as dangerous as carbon monoxide poisoning, dirty air ducts do affect the air quality in your house and can hurt your health. The air ducts are magnets for dust, pet hair, dirt, dander, and other debris. If left uncleaned, the air quality in your house will go down and you might experience problems with allergies or asthma. It’s recommended that your air ducts are cleaned at least once per year.
Mold In The HVAC System
Mold is the enemy of homeowners everywhere. It can spread quickly and have serious health consequences. Preventing mold is a matter of being observant. Regularly inspect air intakes and vents for visual signs of mold. Also, if there’s a mildew smell in your house, there’s a good chance it’s being caused by mold. You can prevent mold by regularly changing your furnace filter, keeping the drain pans clean, and having a licensed HVAC professional inspect your air conditioning, furnace, and ductwork annually.
Old Air Conditioning Units
If your home’s air conditioner is 20-years old or over, it might be making you sick. As air conditioners age, contaminants like mold, fungus, and bacteria can build up and spread throughout your house. This means it’s important to replace that aging air conditioner. Most AC units have between 15-20 years of life in them. But only a licensed HVAC technician can tell you for sure if your AC unit needs replacement. Newer AC units will cost between $1,000 to $4000, but are much more efficient, saving you money on your energy bills.
Your house’s HVAC system is there to keep you comfortable inside no matter what the weather is outside. By taking a few precautions, like regular HVAC inspections and good common sense, you can prevent a lot of health problems.
By Emma Sturgis
who is a freelance writer and residing in Boston, MA. She believes in taking charge of your health and visiting health specialists or hearing aid providers when needed. She recommends regular HVAC maintenance from a company like Imperial Air Conditioning Pty Ltd.