Indoor Air Quality and Your HVAC System: Steps to Take Now
In the northeast, it’s almost time to turn on the heat. But before you do, check the condition of your HVAC system. If it is not clean, you may wind up with poor indoor air quality, and that can open a can of worms.
Over time, dust and debris collect in HVAC and heating units, which means when you turn on the heat, you may get a dirty surprise but the system may also be harboring mold.
During summer months, condensation, which can lead to mold growth, often occurs in HVAC units and associated ducting. Once the heat is turned on, microscopic mold spores can easily spread through ductwork. The spores can contaminate clean spaces anywhere in a home or office.
Signs of Mold In Air Ducts:
- There is a musty smell in the home or office.
- You are experiencing allergic symptoms, which may include a runny nose, trouble breathing, rash, or watering eyes.
- When you turn on the heat, your nose, throat, and eyes feel irritated.
- You suffer from unexplained headaches that go away when you leave the premises.
- You feel nausea, fatigue, and dizziness only when you are home or at the office.
- You see mold growing in the intake vents and around the air ducts and drip pans.
- There is staining around the vents.
If you think you may have mold in your HVAC system, the best course of action is to have the system tested. An independent company, like RTK, can assess whether you will be spreading mold spores when you turn on the heat.
Meanwhile, be sure to have your HVAC unit cleaned prior to turning on the heat to prevent indoor air pollution. Also, be sure to change your filters and clean the drip pans.
Mold and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are the most common causes of indoor air pollution, and can easily be tested for and treated.