SICK BUILDING SYNDROME AND
THE HVAC SYSTEM
Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) refers to a condition where occupants of a building experience various health issues that are associated with their time spent indoors. The causes of SBS are multifaceted and can include factors such as poor ventilation, chemical pollutants, biological contaminants, and inadequate temperature control. Among these factors, the air conditioning system plays a significant role in the development and exacerbation of SBS symptoms. Read further to understand how AC systems can impact Sick Building Syndrome and discuss preventive measures to mitigate its effects.
Proper ventilation is crucial for maintaining good indoor air quality. AC systems play a pivotal role in regulating airflow and ensuring that fresh air is supplied to the occupants. However, if the AC system is not appropriately designed or maintained, it can result in poor ventilation. Inadequate ventilation can lead to a buildup of indoor air pollutants, including carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other airborne contaminants. Breathing in these pollutants over time can contribute to various symptoms associated with SBS, such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and respiratory issues.
Adequate Ventilation: Ensures proper ventilation by introducing outdoor air and utilizing mechanical ventilation systems can help dilute indoor air pollutants and maintain better indoor air quality.
AC systems have the potential to distribute airborne contaminants throughout a building. If the system is not adequately maintained or if the filters are not regularly cleaned or replaced, dust, mold spores, pollen, and other allergens can accumulate within the system. As the AC unit circulates the air, these contaminants can be dispersed throughout the building, causing allergic reactions and respiratory problems in sensitive individuals. Moreover, the condensation that occurs within the AC system can create a damp environment, promoting the growth of mold and bacteria, which further contribute to poor indoor air quality and SBS symptoms.
Regular Maintenance: AC systems should undergo routine maintenance, including cleaning or replacing filters, inspecting ductwork for leaks, and ensuring proper drainage to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
AC systems often utilize various chemicals, including refrigerants and cleaning agents, to operate effectively. If these chemicals are not handled or stored properly, they can contaminate the indoor air when released from the AC system. Additionally, some AC systems may emit low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are chemicals that can evaporate at room temperature and contribute to poor indoor air quality. Prolonged exposure to VOCs can result in headaches, nausea, dizziness, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat.
Proper Chemical Handling: Employing proper storage, handling, and disposal methods for chemicals used in AC systems can minimize the release of pollutants into the indoor environment.
Temperature and Humidity Imbalance
AC systems are responsible for maintaining comfortable temperature and humidity levels in buildings. However, improper temperature and humidity control can contribute to the development of SBS. If the AC system cools the air excessively or unevenly, occupants may experience discomfort, including dry skin, irritated eyes, and respiratory irritation. Furthermore, if the humidity is too high, it can create a favorable environment for mold growth, exacerbating respiratory symptoms and allergies.
Humidity Control: Maintaining appropriate humidity levels within the recommended range of 30-60% can discourage mold growth and reduce the risk of respiratory issues.
EnviroAir Systems properly inspects, identifies and addresses underlying issues that can potentially cause poor indoor air quality and/or microbial growth.
We know your health depends on our commitment to providing the best Indoor Air Quality solutions as possible.
Our pride of workmanship is evident in our thorough attention to detail and verifiable results!
That's why we are the only company to offer a 100% Third Party Clearance Testing Guarantee*. Our work is subject to clearance testing by third party assessors. You can have complete confidence, knowing our work is effective - Not just because we say so, or test it ourselves.
If you suspect your home is causing Sick Building Syndrome, consult a physician and schedule an HVAC Inspection with an EnviroAir Systems NADCA Certified Ventilation Inspector today.
*when recommended products or services are utilized.