The Hidden Dangers Of Poorly Maintained HVAC


Your HVAC is among the most used systems in your home, especially during summer. If the system is well-maintained, it provides many benefits. For instance, it regulates your home’s temperature, improves indoor air quality, and saves money.

However, if the system is not poorly maintained, it may pose significant dangers to you and your family. Therefore, treating your HVAC maintenance with the seriousness it deserves is vital. This article outlines the hidden hazards that could occur when you ignore your unit.

Mold Growth

Most people associate mold growth with damp areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. However, mold can also grow in your HVAC system under specific conditions.

When your HVAC system isn’t well-maintained, dust and warmth collect inside. These elements combine with water droplets that accumulate when your unit is turned off, creating a perfect environment for mold growth. In such cases, mold will likely grow in the drain pan, evaporator coil, air ducts, and condensate drain lines.

When your HVAC system becomes a perfect germination area for mold, it puts your home at risk of harboring one of the most notorious allergens. The air from your system will contain mold spores, putting your whole house at risk of mold growth.

Mold is known to threaten the health of individuals with allergies and asthma. Mold exposure can cause a stuffy nose, red eyes, wheezing, and itchy skin.

There are many ways to prevent mold growth in your HVAC system. For example, regularly cleaning your system eliminates dampness, eradicating the likelihood of mold thriving.

However, if mold has already infested your system, look for professionals dealing with such an HVAC issue. Nowadays, it’s very easy to find a reputable service contractor online. You can easily search ‘heating and cooling near me,’ and you’ll find a long list of options.

Fire Hazards

Lack of proper maintenance affects the HVAC system’s interior. The damage may include broken fans or damaged heating pipes. When these parts stop functioning, they cause the unit to overheat. Overheating heightens the temperature to a dangerous level with time, increasing the fire risk.

Also, dust builds up when the system isn’t correctly maintained. This causes the system to strain. If your HVAC unit is unkept, its electrical system may deteriorate, leading to a significant fire hazard. Also, lack of proper maintenance increases the risk of short circuits, which can pose a fire threat in your home.

Suppose you’ve neglected your HVAC system for a while. You might need to contact emergency AC repair Longview, TX, or other similar experts in your area to schedule a thorough inspection and minimize the chances of fire breakouts in your home.

Professional technician maintaining modern air conditioner indoors

Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause poisoning or death when overexposed. No wonder it’s nicknamed ‘the silent killer.’ Carbon monoxide is produced when fossils such as natural gas, propane, kerosene, or gasoline burn.

Gas-powered HVAC systems such as boilers and furnaces create carbon monoxide. If these systems aren’t properly maintained, they can wear down, causing carbon monoxide to leak into your home. When carbon monoxide leaks, the air conditioner sucks it and spreads it throughout your home.

When you’re exposed to the gas, you may experience symptoms such as exhaustion, headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, confusion, and chest pains. However, too much carbon monoxide exposure can be very lethal.

Since carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, you can’t smell or see it accumulating. Therefore, to avoid the danger of carbon monoxide, schedule regular professional HVAC maintenance. Learn more about finding a reliable HVAC specialist in this video:¬†

Refrigerant Poisoning

A refrigerant is a mixture of chemicals that run through your HVAC system. A refrigerant helps absorb and release heat from your house. It starts as a liquid and transforms into gas. If your HVAC system isn’t well-maintained, it starts to wear and tear down, leading to refrigerant leaks.

A refrigerant leak causes serious harm to your health and the environment. It contains harmful gases such as chlorine, fluoride, and chlorofluorocarbons which are poisonous when inhaled. For instance, inhaling chlorine gas leads to many health problems, such as nausea, vomiting, chest pain, persistent cough, headache, and abdominal discomfort.

Fluoride gas weakens the immune systems and can cause congenital disabilities and genetic impairment. Additionally, chlorofluorocarbons affect the environment by depleting the ozone layer.

Like carbon monoxide, these poisonous gases are colorless and odorless, meaning you can’t notice them accumulating in your home until you experience poisoning symptoms. If you notice any signs of poisoning, turn off the system, and seek treatment immediately. You should also call an HVAC technician to inspect the leaks. Refrigerant poisoning causes many deaths; hence you should be cautious.

The Bottom Line

Regular HVAC system maintenance and cleaning is the best way to prevent hidden dangers associated with a lack of maintenance. Experts recommend scheduling professional maintenance of your system every six months. If you’re unfamiliar with inspecting and maintaining your HVAC system, always seek help from a reputable technician.