Defective HVAC – Undetected Time Bomb
It is well-known fact that HVAC systems bring significant comfort on hot summer days or on long winter nights. However, most of the population remain unaware of the potential health risks that HVAC systems necessary impose. Leaving your HVAC unattained for a long period of time could be the main source of a general feeling of overall weakness and fatigue, but it could also have serious repercussions on your health. So, why is the faulty or poorly maintained HVAC a ticking time bomb? We bring you three crucial reasons for concern.
HVAC systems, that are not being regularly cleaned, could become a home for some bacteria, viruses, and fungi. As they typically grow in the drain parts of HVAC, such as air ducts, these microorganisms could easily spread via the ventilation system. When inhaled, these microbes could cause symptoms such as coughing and wheezing but, in some cases, they could even induce serious respiratory infection. According to the paper published in New England Journal Medicine, in a case study in 1980, central air conditioning was the main cause of the spread of Legionnaires disease. Needless to say, the primary solution to respiratory and other health problems is simple prevention: frequent and meticulous maintenance of your HVAC.
People suffering from asthma or various allergies could experience worsening of their chronic condition. For example, dander and pollen, which are commonly transmitted through the ventilation system, could seriously affect those with allergies. The symptoms can vary from simple nasal irritation and sneezing to more serious obstructive lung diseases, such as asthma. In order to protect your loved ones and prevent aggravation of their chronic disease, you should keep your HVAC clean and functional.
In 1984, it was discovered that HVAC systems could be the cause of symptoms such as headache, constant fatigue, dry skin, and skin irritation. In a study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology (2004), it was noted that people working in buildings and offices with HVAC systems were more likely to develop symptoms than people working in environments without HVAC. The inquiry shows that, as soon as office workers leave the building, their symptoms reduce and disappear. To refer to the relation between (faulty or uncleaned) HVAC and health problems, this phenomenon was infamously named “Sick Building Syndrome”.
As employers, we should be aware of this potential threat, so that we could protect our employees and secure a safe and comfortable environment for their constant progress.