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AC spreading irritants and illness causing contaminants indoors.

My Air Conditioner is Making Me Sick – Reasons Why and Solutions

Is Your Air Conditioner Making You Sick? Recognizing and Fixing Unhealthy HVAC Air Quality

It’s the peak of summer and you’ve been eagerly awaiting the refreshing blast of cool air from your trusty air conditioner. But instead of feeling rejuvenated, you start feeling under the weather. Allergies act up, that nagging cough worsens, and you feel rundown. Is it possible your AC could be to blame for your sickness?

Unfortunately, yes – poor indoor air quality from a contaminated HVAC system absolutely can cause allergy, asthma and cold symptoms. Mold, bacteria, viruses, chemical residues and other irritants may be circulating unchecked through your home’s air supply.

Don’t just chalk up ongoing sniffles and sickness to bad luck. Your air conditioner may be the culprit behind your failing health. Read on to gain insight into how an unhealthy AC unit can make you ill, signs of poor air quality, and how to get your system clean for better indoor breathing and wellness.

Ways an Unhealthy AC System Spreads Illness Inside Your Home

Your heating and cooling system is designed to enhance comfort and air quality. But without diligent maintenance, an AC can do just the opposite – spreading contaminants that reduce air purity and health:

  • Mold and mildew accumulate on wet surfaces inside the air handler and ducts, then get blown into the living space. Inhaling mold spores triggers allergy symptoms, asthma attacks, and respiratory illness for sensitive people.
  • Bacteria, viruses, dust mites, pet dander and other allergens get trapped by dirty filters, then discharged through vents to trigger sinus congestion, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes and headaches.
  • Standing water inside the unit from condensate drainage issues breeds mold, bacteria and microbial growth. These organisms spread easily through airflow.
  • Rodents or birds may get into outdoor equipment and leave droppings. When mold grows, it gets sent through ducts.
  • Smoker’s residue, chemicals, cleaning agents and outdoor pollution brought inside adhere to interior components, slowly emitting particulates.
  • Improper humidity levels allow excessive moisture and dryness that enables microbial growth and kills healthy air.

Poor maintenance, defective equipment and improper installation can transform your AC from friend to foe regarding your household’s health. Don’t tolerate preventable sickness!

Clues Your HVAC System Has Poor Indoor Air Quality

Watch for these signs that your air conditioner may be circulating contaminants making you ill:

  • Musty, damp smells emit from vents
  • Increased household dust, debris and pet dander
  • Allergy symptoms worsen when AC runs
  • Colds and respiratory illness seem more frequent
  • Sinus congestion, sore throat, coughing when at home
  • Visible microbial growth around vents or evaporator coil
  • High indoor humidity exceeds 50%
  • Water stains or mold on ductwork
  • Household members frequently get sick

Don’t ignore ongoing sickness as “one of those things.” Inspect your HVAC system thoroughly for signs of contaminated air circulation. Protect your family’s health!

Steps to Improve Indoor Air Quality from Your AC

To stop an unhealthy air conditioner from spreading sickness, address the root causes:

  • Replace air filters often with MERV 11+ pleated filters to catch more airborne particles.
  • Have ducts professionally cleaned to eliminate built up dust and debris.
  • Clean and sanitize the evaporator coil to prevent mold growth. Apply an antimicrobial coating.
  • Inspect drain pans and lines to ensure proper moisture removal that doesn’t allow standing water.
  • Follow manufacturer maintenance recommendations to keep all components clean.
  • Check ductwork thoroughly for leaks letting unconditioned outside air and pollutants inside. Seal any found.
  • Consider installing UV lights inside the HVAC cabinet to kill mold, bacteria and viruses.
  • Use high quality standalone air filters, humidifiers, dehumidifiers and air purifiers to enhance air purity.
  • Have an HVAC technician assess your whole system for deficiencies allowing contaminated air circulation.
  • Schedule professional maintenance and cleaning annually to keep your AC operating at peak efficiency.

Don’t wait until you feel lousy to address indoor air quality issues. Maintain your HVAC system proactively to ensure the air it circulates keeps you and your family healthy year-round. Breathe easy with a clean, contamination-free cooling system.

Tips to Keep Your Central AC System Clean and Healthy

Prevent contaminated air and sickness with these air conditioner maintenance tips:

  • Change air filters monthly or more often if they become visibly dirty. Don’t reuse old filters.
  • Vacuum supply and return air vents regularly to remove dust and pet hair buildup.
  • Clean the outdoor condenser coil annually to allow optimal airflow and prevent refrigerant leaks.
  • Keep the condensate drain line clean and flowing properly to eliminate standing water inside the unit.
  • Seal and insulate all ductwork to prevent condensation leading to mold growth.
  • Have an HVAC technician deep clean the evaporator coil and drain pans annually.
  • Consider installing a UV light system inside air handlers to kill mold, bacteria and viruses.
  • Verify proper airflow throughout the duct system reaching all vents for efficient air circulation.
  • Make sure the system can properly manage humidity levels between 30-50% to inhibit microbial growth.
  • Address any water leaks or moisture issues inside the home that allow mold colonies to thrive.
  • Follow a full AC maintenance schedule with a qualified technician to keep the system operating at peak performance.

A little preventive care goes a long way in supporting your HVAC system’s air quality and your family’s health. Don’t tolerate contaminated air circulation making you sick. With professional cleaning and maintenance, you can breathe easy knowing the air flowing from your AC is clean, fresh and healthy.

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