The HVAC or the Heating, Ventilation, and Air conditioning system of the home is often compared to the respiratory system in the human body. It is primarily because the HVAC system helps your house breathe clean and hygienic air. In turn, this is the air that you too breathe when your are inside your home. Also, your house becomes more comfortable with the delivery of conditioned air to every part of it. However, there are times when switching on the AC adds to the discomfort. Instead of feeling good, you start feeling unwell and start developing allergic reactions. This is the sign of biological contamination in your AC.
It Is Not Always AC That Makes You Feel Sick
The air conditioner circulates air throughout the home. What it necessarily means is that it circulates the pollutants or the contaminants as well. So the problem may or may not reside in the unit itself. The problem could lie elsewhere. But because the air circulates when you switch on the AC, you associate the problem with it.
What Is Biological Contamination?
Biological contamination is the presence of living organisms or allergens derived by bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc. These can cause mild to severe allergic reactions along with other illnesses and ailments.
How To Recognize Biological Contamination
Usually, if there is biological contamination in your home, you or any of your family members may not feel well. It begins by:
1. The feeling of dizziness, shortness of breath, or nausea.
2. It may also trigger sneezing, coughing, or watery eyes.
3. One may even experience digestive disorders and fever.
Signs Of Biological Contamination In Your AC System
If there is biological contamination in your AC system, here are some signs that you will notice:
1. Moldy And Stale Smell – The musty smell will usually start from near the AC. If you catch it at this time, it is the best because you can easily prevent the problem from spreading by taking timely action. However, the chances of that happening are very low until and unless the smell becomes too strong. This stale and unpleasant odor will slowly and steadily spread throughout the home. By the time you start smelling it in every room, the issue would have spread through most of the ductwork.
2. Black Or Green Substance Growing In And Around AC – Black mold-like or green algae-like substance growing in and around the air conditioner, too, is a sign of biological contamination. Though it is easy to wipe or scrape away, you must still refrain from doing so. Releasing the mold spores into the air will only lead to further discomfort. Moreover, you may not be aware of the type of mold that it is. A professional cleaner has more knowledge in this respect. They use proper equipment, don adequate clothing, and use safety measures to minimize contact and prevent further spread.
3. Breathing Troubles – If there are no visible signs of biological contamination, the chances are that you will come to know of it once you start feeling its ill effects. In the first stage, the ill effects manifest themselves in the form of breathing troubles. You or any family member may have more than the normal occurrence of respiratory problems without any obvious reasons. When this happens, it is because the biological contamination has escaped everyone’s notice.
What To Do When You Suspect Biological Contamination In Your AC System?
When you first become suspicious of biological contamination in your AC system here is what you should do:
1. First and foremost, turn the air conditioner off.
2. Use rags to get rid of all the visible growth without agitating it too much, or leave as is.
3. Call your local HVAC contractor for thorough cleaning of the HVAC to eliminate all the biological growth in and around it.
4. The ducts, too, should be given a complete once over to catch signs of any biological growth.
Types Of Biological Contaminants In The AC
Many biological contaminants or bio-contaminants can be found flourishing inside the HVAC system. These are usually categorized under two heads.
1. Primary Bio-contaminants – These include bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
2. Secondary Bio-Contaminants – These include insects, mites, and nematodes.
Preventing Bio-Contamination In HVAC
There is a lot you can do to stop the biological contamination within and around the air conditioner. These include:
1. The best way to prevent biocontamination is by ensuring that the air filters are changed periodically within the recommended timeframe and more frequently if required.
2. Regular annual maintenance of the AC and furnace will also prevent any biological contamination within the unit.
3. The drain pan and the drain line, both, should be cleaned at least twice a year.
4. The ductwork, too, should be professionally cleaned every 3 to 5 years.
5. Always use good quality insulation in the air handling unit.
6. See to it that there are no leaks in the house so that dampness does not permeate.
7. If you have a humidification system, ensure that appropriate humidity levels are set for each season. Also, inspect the humidifier occasionally and see to its routine maintenance.
8. Consider installing UV germicidal lights in the HVAC unit to kill all the contaminants.
Don’t Rule Out The Effects Of Pollution
The occurrence of illness and allergies in the family could also be rampant environmental pollution. Since fresh air from outside enters your home from time to time, you cannot rule out the effects of pollution. However, to counter its ill effects, consider using an air purifier. All these measures together will go a long way in keeping your home and AC free of biological contaminants.
In The End
Biological contamination can occur inside anybody’s home or AC. However, this does not mean that your home is not fit to live in. By sanitizing your home and addressing all the causes of biocontamination, you can live without any fear in your home. These things do happen; important is to take care of them on time and not ignore the signs.
If you live in West Palm Beach and wish to schedule the repair, maintenance, or installation of your HVAC unit, contact the air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning. We can be reached anytime at +1-888-729-8452.