The recent trend toward energy conservation has led to tighter home construction and more effective weatherization. Unless there’s ample ventilation, today’s homes can trap a cocktail of pollutants indoors, including biological contaminants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), allergens and a host of airborne particles. All types of indoor pollution can affect health and well-being, but high levels of airborne particles have a direct impact on the HVAC system.
Indoor Air Quality and the HVAC System
Harmful particles can get inside the HVAC system in two ways: through the return air registers and/or gaps in the ductwork. Regular household dust that enters through the return registers can contain an array of particles such as animal dander, skin cells, plant pollen, soot and hair. If ducting runs through the wall cavities, attic or basement aren’t sealed properly, pest droppings, insect parts and even insulation fibers can be drawn inside.
Once the air filter gets overloaded, it can’t keep these pollutants from negatively impacting essential system components such as:
- Blower – Particles circulating through the HVAC system can accumulate on the blower motor, making it work harder. This increases energy consumption and could cause the motor to overheat and fail. Overheating also heightens the danger of fire.
- Ductwork – When dust particles and moisture get trapped inside ducts, it can become the ideal growth environment for mold, viruses and bacteria.
- Indoor cooling coil– As particles build up on the coil, they block crucial heat transfer and decrease cooling capacity and humidity control.
- Compressor – If the system runs with a dirty coil, the operating pressure and temperature inside the system rises. Over time, this can deteriorate the compressor’s lubricant, leading to friction that causes an expensive, premature failure.
- Heat exchanger – Airflow restrictions caused by a particle buildup on the air filter can put undue strain on the furnace heat exchanger that shortens its expected life span.
To learn more about the relationship between indoor air quality and the HVAC system in your Greater Cincinnati home, contact us at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing today.
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"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
- Jerry A.
"I called Apollo because of a water leak I thought I had in our upstairs shower going into the kitchen. Robbie came and assured me everything was fine & looked at all the other plumbing. He ended up changing a few pipes for our washer & clearing a drain. He was very nice & knowledgeable with all my questions. I ended up signing up for the care plan & was very happy with my service."
- Cassandra B.
"The team at Apollo exceeded my expectations. As a business owner, my attention to the details and commitment to providing excellent service is high. From the sales rep. to the installation team, everyone’s performance was outstanding. For example, the installation team went to great lengths to protect our floors, placing floor runners and across the wood floors and up the stairs. They even were spot washing walls upon their departure. I highly recommend this company."
- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
- Beverly S.