Your home keeps you warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and keeps fresh air circulating all year round. Working behind the scenes, your home’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system maintains a comfortable environment. But, if you don’t take care of this system, it can stop working properly – and even make you sick.
Regular professional maintenance of HVAC systems is important. Here’s what you should know.
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, but it can be fatal. If a gas-burning system in your home is damaged, improperly installed or not maintained, you may be at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.
First, make sure all systems are properly and professionally installed and maintained. Older furnaces may have cracked heat exchangers, a common cause of carbon monoxide leaks. Have your heating system inspected and serviced by a licensed electrician each year.
Also, be sure to have carbon monoxide monitors installed near all bedrooms, and at least one on each floor of your home. Since the early signs of carbon monoxide poisoning can be easily mistaken for the flu, it is vital to have both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed.
Lack of humidity
With winter months comes home heating, and heating systems can bake all the moisture out of the air. A very dry environment can lead to chapped skin, cracked lips and a sore throat. It can even leave you more vulnerable to colds and flu. The dry air can also damage your home, causing wood to crack, joists to separate, and molding to split. Humidifiers can be installed as part of your HVAC system to prevent such damage.
Too much humidity
Mold and mildew can thrive in dark, damp places like basements and laundry rooms. De-humidifiers can be integrated into the HVAC system or can be placed as stand-alone units where necessary.
Poor air filtration
Your home HVAC system has filters in place to remove dust, allergens and other airborne irritants, but they must be changed regularly. If the filters are not changed, it can lead to serious health consequences, especially for those with asthma or allergies.
HVAC systems can pose electrical risks as well. Ideally, condensation from a unit’s air conditioner drains safely away, but those drains can become clogged. Water can come into contact with the unit’s electrical components, leading to system failure and the risk of electrical shock or even fire. Call your professional, licensed HVAC contractor to do all repairs on air conditioners and other HVAC components.
Don’t take that fresh air for granted!
Properly maintained HVAC systems will keep you and your family comfortable and safe all year round. Don’t forget to include these systems in our home maintenance routines.