6 Ways Unclean Air Ducts Can Affect Your Health
Indoor air quality is vital for your health, especially since we spend most of our time inside homes, offices, schools, and other buildings. The air ducts in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems play a key role in circulating fresh, filtered air throughout a building.
However, dust, dirt, mold, and other contaminants can accumulate inside the ductwork over time. Unclean air ducts can blow these pollutants back into your indoor air, leading to various health issues. Read on to learn about seven ways dirty HVAC ducts can impact your health and why maintaining them is essential.
Aggravate Allergies And Asthma
For those sensitive to airborne allergens like dust mites, pollen, and pet dander, dirty air ducts can exacerbate allergy and asthma symptoms. These particles get trapped in fibrous duct liners or components inside the ventilation system.
As air circulates through contaminated ducts, it gets loaded with these irritants before being blown into your home. Exposure to higher levels of allergens and irritants from unclean ducts can trigger sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, sinus congestion, chest tightness, and asthma attacks.
Contribute To Respiratory Infections
Unseen mold growth is a common problem inside dusty air ducts that provide ideal conditions for excess moisture. Inhaling spores released by molds and fungi via contaminated HVAC systems can lead to respiratory infections for occupants.
Chronic exposure can contribute to illnesses like pneumonia, bronchitis, chronic coughs, and lung inflammation. Those with weakened immune systems like infants, seniors, or people with chronic lung diseases are most at risk when breathing duct-distributed mold.
Thus, it is important to know when to clean your air ducts in Phoenix. Get the help of professionals for efficient cleaning.
Trigger Headaches And Fatigue
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from pollutants that become airborne can also get spread through HVAC systems. Exposure to elevated VOCs from dirty ducts has been linked to headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.
Chemical particulates recirculated through unclean ducts can cause irritation and inflammation of the eyes, nose, and throat in addition to neurological symptoms. Those already sensitive to chemicals may develop frequent headaches and tiredness from VOCs in the recycled indoor air.
Worsen Heart And Lung Diseases
Microscopic particles from dirt, dust, and other contaminants blown through dirty ductwork can also worsen heart and lung conditions. Breathing in these particle pollutants may cause inflammation and irritation. For those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the added obstruction in lung airways can increase the severity of symptoms. People with heart disease can experience chest pains, palpitations, and shortness of breath. Unclean ducts act as distributors of lung-damaging particles, exacerbating cardiopulmonary health issues.
Cause Unpleasant Odors
Dirty air ducts are prone to developing musty, unpleasant odors over time. Dust buildup combined with moisture inside the ductwork creates a prime environment for microbial growth. This leads to bad duct odors that get blown into the indoor air. An earthy, funky smell throughout your home is a telltale sign your air ducts need cleaning. Odd smells emitted through vents indicate contamination that should be addressed promptly before posing health risks.
Spread Germs And Bacteria
Finally, without proper disinfection, air ducts can spread germs and bacteria like a cold or flu virus. Viruses emitted from an infected person can enter and thrive in an HVAC system. As contaminated air circulates back into living spaces, it can infect others with harsh pathogens. Routine duct sanitization and air filter changes limit the possibility of ducts spreading dangerous viral and bacterial diseases.
To Wrap Up
To enjoy cleaner, healthier indoor air, having your residential or commercial HVAC system’s ductwork regularly maintained is crucial. Addressing contaminants through professional air duct cleaning improves air quality and reduces negative health effects.