You and your family are likely to spend more time indoors than you do outside, especially as the weather gets cooler. When you keep up with your HVAC maintenance needs, you can improve your indoor comfort, including your air quality. However, if you overlook the need for regular maintenance or your system was poorly designed or installed from the beginning, your HVAC system could be harming the air quality in your home.
An HVAC system can degrade indoor air quality in several ways:
Read on for more telltale signs that the HVAC system in your house may be causing indoor air quality issues that affect you and your loved ones.
A/C systems have two primary functions: cooling the air and keeping humidity at a reasonably comfortable level. However, many thermostats control the A/C based on temperature only. If your unit is too small your home, it may be working overtime and struggling to keep up with these needs. Conversely, an oversized unit will reach the target temperature rapidly, but it won’t have enough time to remove the humidity from the air. The one-two combo of low temperature and high humidity is not only uncomfortable, but can also lead to health problems.
Ideally, the temperature in your home would remain relatively constant, but drastic variations can occur when heating and cooling equipment is larger than necessary.
There may be instances where oversized heating and cooling equipment saves energy by operating for shorter periods. However, oversizing also results in unpredictable temperatures, drafty indoor environments and poor humidity control. It creates health hazards and degrades indoor air quality.
Your indoor comfort isn’t only about temperature, but also about humidity and airspeed. Air blowing too fast can be just as uncomfortable as excessively cold air. Drafty indoor environments often occur due to oversized fans or excessive air duct pressure.
If you are having this problem, first make sure the fan switch on the thermostat remains set on “Auto,” not “On.” That way, it will not run constantly. You can also adjust your vents if your airflow is too strong.
Ventilation plays a significant role in both heating and cooling systems, and can also cause air quality issues under some circumstances. When unpleasant odors are coming from the ventilation system, there are a couple of likely culprits.
Living with bad smells is not only unpleasant, but they can also give you physical symptoms like headaches. Because people become “nose blind” to noxious smells over time, you might fail to notice how bad the problem has become, but a visitor to your home would notice it immediately.
Sick building syndrome, or SBS, is an umbrella term that describes a situation where people suffer from health issues in direct proportion to the time they spend indoors. SBS is not one specific illness, but instead refers to poor health conditions in general, including headaches and respiratory problems.
SBS relates to a wide range of conditions that include humidity, the presence of volatile organic chemicals or bacteria circulating through the ventilation system, a lack of fresh air and inadequate temperatures. However, poor HVAC operation tends to be a common denominator.
When you think about HVAC maintenance, you probably focus on things like how you can save money on your energy bills by making your heating and cooling more energy-efficient. But indoor air quality is just as crucial, if not more, since it has a direct effect on your family’s health and well-being.
If you are looking for ideas for improving the air quality in your home, Maichle’s Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is here for you. We have been installing and servicing HVAC systems for homeowners throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland since 1984, and in that time, we have helped hundreds of families solve their indoor air quality problems. Contact us to learn more about our services and what sets us apart from our competitors as a reliable provider of HVAC installation and maintenance.