Depending on what kind of HVAC system is being used and the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of its air filter(s), your health could be impacted in various ways.
Dirty, Damaged, or Improperly Sized Air Filters
The quality of the air filter is crucial to your physiological well-being in that your indoor air should be clean and circulating freely.
A soiled filter, or one with an inappropriately high MERV rating, can inhibit air flow and will accumulate bacteria. A damaged filter, or one with a considerably lower MERV rating, can allow allergens such as pollen, dander, dust, spores, and debris to pass through its barrier and settle somewhere within contact.
As a consequence critical components for operation could wear out, resulting in mechanical failure. Can you imagine the chaos that could come to your immune system in the event of a lockout in the middle of a heat wave or a cold snap? Be sure to change your filters once every three months.
Condensation and Mold
According to Delair, “Mold usually starts to grow on the evaporator coil, where the condensate pan is located,” and spores will eventually travel through air to find other places to aggregate inside your home.
There are several types of mold — some more toxic than others — but all share the common characteristic of being unwelcome in the home environment. Not only can they cause damage to your body, but some forms of mold can endanger the integral structure of your house.
Between the high costs of home repairs and hospital bills, not to mention an added cost for an exterminator to remove opportunistic pests, another affected aspect is your mental health. It is a well known fact that stress is the leading cause of heart attacks and anxiety is a gateway to depression.
Overcooling or Overheating
High humidity levels are already going to cause respiratory problems for people with asthma or allergies.
If your HVAC system’s air cooling capacity is larger than recommended for the size of your home, it may cycle more frequently but not as extensively, and this will not achieve the proper dehumidifying effect.
Overheating can be just as detrimental, since dry, hot air can sometimes have the same outcome for asthmatics and can cause skin allergies as well.
Consult a manufacturer’s guide for your system’s energy efficiency ratio (EER) and determine its performance rate in relation to the area its conditioning. A weak system won’t be able to adequately meet your cooling and heating needs while an overly powerful one may be just as complicating.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to an HVAC technician with any concerns or questions. Having the wrong HVAC system could be hazardous to your physical health and well being, but a compromised system could prove fatal under extenuating circumstances. Scheduling a maintenance visit will only bring about positive affirmations.