Some ways your Air Conditioning affects Indoor Air Quality
Updated: Sep 9
Heating and cooling. Most people don’t think much else about their HVAC systems until they stop working altogether, but what about your quality of the air it provides? These systems bring air into your home, and if they’re old, or perhaps not installed correctly even if newer, they can be doing more harm than good.
1. Humidity Control: A sticky situation
Air conditioning systems have two functions: keeping the temperatures comfortable is the obvious one, but they’re also meant to maintain the humidity levels, as well. So if you’re noticing that uncomfortable refrigeration-truck-feel, or condensation on windows, you may want to have a technician out to take a look. When the humidity level is not being controlled, things like mildew and even mold can become a big problem. Affecting your air quality, comfort and even your health.
2. Air Speed: Blown away
Have you noticed that it feels as though you’re living in a vortex of hot or cool air, lately? Thermal sensation (a.k.a. how we feel the temperature) can be adversely affected when a larger system is installed than is needed. It’s particularly noticeable in drafty houses.
By installing Variable frequency drives (VFDs) we can ramp down the speed of fans and other motor-driven devices when their full output is not required. The use of VFDs in ventilation systems allows a greater control of airflow, while providing considerable savings on your monthly bill. At ChillTech of North Florida, we do not install any new Air Conditioner system that is not already equipped with a VFD.
3. Ventilation Control: Stink, stank, stunk?
The first sign of an unpleasant odor coming from your air systems should be the moment you call a technician because it is never a good sign. Luckily, there are three primary reasons your system is pumping out a stink, and all three are highly manageable.
The smell is coming from within the ducts! Accumulation of moisture can lead to mold and mildew, among other things. And sometimes, if the system is not sealed correctly, a furry critter can get in ... and leave unpleasant smells. Regular duct cleaning can clean out any contaminants and discover any potential leaks.
The smell is coming from outside the house! This is always a case of leaky duct work or poor/eroded connections from duct work to the HVAC system. Or perhaps the gaps made in your walls for cabling or other items that bridge the gap between your system from inside to outside the home. Items like this are a part of our regular checklist on every maintenance call. Make sure you select an HVAC company that looks for issues like this regularly.
The smell is coming from another part of the building! If this is the case, it means the ventilation systems is not supplying fresh air effectively. This can be caused by a poor balance between injection and extraction fans, or by obstructed ducts. Ideally, the airflow injected into a room should be slightly higher than the airflow extracted, to maintain a higher pressure than the surroundings and to keep odors and contaminants out; when the air extracted is more than the air injected, the result is a negative pressure that draws in unwanted air.
4. Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)
Are you noticing an influx in illnesses among the inhabitants of your home or building? While SBS does not refer to a specific health issue, it does refer to the severity in which people suffer from things like allergies, headaches and congestion. Poor indoor air quality, because most people spend the majority of their time inside, is a big cause for a person’s overall health and the HVAC system should be maintained and checked regularly to avoid any ill-effects.
As a proactive way to combat allergens and contaminants, you can have an air purification system added to your home's HVAC unit. Be mindful of how much Ozone is produced since too much can be harmful. Alternatively, some Air Conditioner Services, such as ChillTech, offers Ozone free purification.
In general, just like any other system in your house, you heating and cooling system needs maintenance to provide its highest efficiency and value. Systems erode faster over time when not maintained and you could very well be paying a much higher price on monthly bills, or even in doctor visits, due to a lesser functioning HVAC system. A technician can help target where you’re having problems and get your system up to speed quickly and painlessly.
Need maintenance now or want to explore air purification for your some? Contact us today!