The kind of heating and air conditioning system consumers really need is one that will contribute to air quality as well as provide heating and cooling. Note that polluted air is often a serious health hazard, and prolonged exposure to various pollutants, including microbes, can lead to severe illness and even death.
To determine if any pollutants exist in the air that you and your family breathe every day, HVAC professionals use the “Home Health Report Card.” Below are a few things to keep in mind based on the Home Health Report Card:
1. Excess humidity can cause mildew and mold to develop, and a lack of moisture can result in respiratory problems, dry skin and sore throat. In addition, veering to either side can cause us to feel uncomfortable when temperature settings are normal, and humidity is definitely something that should be controlled.
2. Excess moisture in your home’s crawlspace becomes a source for mold, and this contaminant can result in immune system disorders, allergies, chronic fatigue and severe respiratory conditions.
3. Defective air flow in your home can have an adverse effect on your heating and cooling system’s performance, cause humidity imbalance and increase energy consumption. The end result is higher utility bills and a home that is uncomfortable as well.
4. An expensive heating and air conditioning system may clog and malfunction when adequate filtration is lacking, resulting in potentially expensive repairs, increased utility costs and decreased efficiency. This problem may cause dust to build up in the home, making those who live there more susceptible to respiratory problems, allergies and colds.
5. Ducts are used to distribute air in the home, and if they are improperly insulated or sealed, or become clogged or damaged, they can attract pollutants and waste energy at the same time. When they are not cleaned, the result is the microbial growth mentioned above.
6. Carbon monoxide, a gas that is colorless, odorless, and very toxic, is produced in a home’s normal combustion process for hot water heaters, gas stoves, and furnaces. When ventilation is poor, it causes nausea, severe headaches and death.
7. Modern homes are well-sealed and insulated, which helps to conserve energy. However, this also prevents polluted air from escaping, and opening a window to counteract this can bring in pollen, dirt, dust, bacteria and other pollutants from outside.
8. The adhesives, paint, and plywood used in constructing homes are known to contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They have also been found in laminate flooring, insulation, carpeting, synthetic upholstery, cleaning products and pesticides. In certain cases, they can also cause nausea, respiratory problems and headaches.
These are just a few reasons why it is extremely important to work with an HVAC expert in choosing the best possible heating and air conditioning system for your home. A homeowner should select a system that will not only keep temperatures comfortable, but keep the members of the household healthy and safe, too. Consult with an HVAC expert to learn more about a Home Health Report Card.
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Joan Price is a mother of two who wants to help others keep their families protected. Follow her @JoanniePrice.