Here in Nashville, we often think about our air conditioner unit as something that makes us comfortable during hot summers and chilly winters. However, it also serves another important function: Keeping the air in our homes clean for our families! How do you know if your HVAC unit is keeping your air clean as well as comfortable? Watch for these signs.
Air Quality Warning Sign #1: Humidity
Tennessee summers are known for being hot and humid. When that humidity creeps into your home, it can seriously affect your home’s indoor air quality.
You might notice an increase in indoor humidity because your home feels more like outside than inside. But indoor humidity can cause problems before any of your family members notices a difference. Mold can grow near air ducts, next to windows, in corners of rooms, or on ceilings if indoor humidity goes unchecked for too long.
If you start to notice a damp, musty smell in your home, mildew may be the culprit. It only takes 24-48 hours for mildew to grow in a humid environment. When you notice condensation forming in windows, this is a sign that the indoor environment is high in mildew-causing humidity.
Mold and mildew aren’t the only organic allergy triggers that thrive in humid indoor spaces. Dust mites absorb moisture from the air into their bodies, so the higher the indoor humidity gets in your home, the better for dust mites. Dust mites can cause allergy attacks in some individuals, so getting your indoor air quality checked is an important health protocol for your family.
High indoor humidity isn’t just a problem for the people who live in your home. Too much moisture in the air can also spell trouble for the structure of your home itself. Water accumulates in window sills and around doors, giving way to damaging wood rot. Moisture in walls can also lead to unsightly stains in drywall and on ceilings.
Your HVAC unit might be to blame for an uptick in indoor humidity. If your unit is too large, it probably isn’t running long enough to efficiently de-humidify your home. Contact one of our professional HVAC technicians to have your unit inspected and evaluated for size.
Air Quality Warning Sign #2: Excess Dust
Dust circulating through your home threatens not only the parts of your unit, but also the quality of air in your home. If you find yourself dusting off the ceiling fan or other surfaces of your home more frequently, your HVAC unit may need a checkup.
The filter on your HVAC system should trap harmful dust, dirt, and debris before your family can breathe them in. When it doesn’t, you may notice a layer of dust forming on surfaces.
Change your filters often. Once every 1-3 months is recommended by HVAC professionals. Changing your filters monthly if you have furry pets, such as long-hair cats and double-coated dogs.
If these solutions don’t work, you may need to have your unit inspected for other malfunctions or issues.
Air Quality Warning Sign #3: Odors
If your home is host to certain peculiar odors, you might have issues with your HVAC system.
Believe it or not, bad smells are not a normal part of your system’s heating and cooling processes.
Here are a few smells that signal problems (and a need for a professional inspection):
- Rotten eggs: Signals a natural gas leak which demands immediate attention
- A strong musty smell: If there’s strong musty smell in your basement or laundry room, it could signal the growth of mold.
- Burning smells: There are a few reasons your HVAC system could be emitting a burning smell. If you’ve turned the heat on for the first time in months, accumulated dust will burn away, causing a distinct burning smell and possibly setting off your fire alarm. If your heater has been running but you suddenly notice a burning smell, you need to alert your HVAC professional immediately. It could mean parts of your system are overheating or that there’s a fire somewhere in your home.
Air Quality Warning Sign #4: Sickness
If you’ve noticed yourself or your family members getting sick more often, your HVAC system might be part of the underlying cause
The circulation of dust, allergens and airborne toxins can cause asthma flare ups, allergy outbreaks, colds, and other problems.
If you think there is something wrong with your home’s indoor air quality, it’s important to get a professional HVAC specialist to perform an inspection.
Synergy Service is a trusted provider of residential HVAC services in and around Nashville.
We can help you find any issues with your home’s air quality, as well as the performance of your system.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you.