fresh indoor air windowIndustry experts believe the HVAC system is directly tied to 70 percent of the air quality problems in today’s homes. The indoor pollutants swirling through your home’s air supply can include biological contaminants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemical vapors. All of these pollutants can have serious health consequences, but the various types of particles that degrade the air your family breathes can also harm your HVAC equipment.

How Indoor Air Quality Affects the HVAC System

The two main ways that pollution particles infiltrate an HVAC system are through the return registers and the ductwork. The dust circulating in a home can allow soot, skin cells, plant pollen, fabric fibers, pet dander, hair, tobacco smoke and other particles in through the return air supply. Leaky, unsealed ductwork runs in the wall cavities, crawl space and attic. It can introduce contaminants such as pest droppings, insect parts and insulation fibers into the system. If the air filter doesn’t stop them, these particulates can erode energy efficiency and shorten the life span of some key system components:

  • Evaporator coil – When pollutants build up on the evaporator coil, they form an insulating barrier that blocks heat transfer and causes icing on the coil. This has a negative impact on an air conditioner’s cooling capacity and its ability to dehumidify a home.
  • Outdoor compressor – Operating the A/C with a coil covered in a layer of dirt and debris raises the system’s internal pressure and temperature. Eventually, the high pressure and temperature can degrade the compressor’s lubricant and cause a costly equipment failure.
  • Blower motor – Excessive dust and dirt circulating through the HVAC system can settle on the blower assembly components, including the motor and fan blades. This buildup can strain the motor, increase its energy consumption and make it overheat. Over time, the additional wear can shorten the motor’s life span, and overheating can cause a fire.

For more information on how indoor air quality affects the HVAC system in your Savannah, Garden City or Tremont Park home, contact us today at Byrd Heating and Air Conditioning.

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