Your HVAC system is an integral part of your home. Season after season, it regulates temperatures in your home, balances humidity levels, and circulates air through various rooms and living spaces. We rely on these appliances to keep our homes comfortable, and many of us don’t give a thought to the health or condition of our system until a problem arises.
Intermittent repair and maintenance are necessary parts of owning an HVAC system, but have you given thought to how you are being impacted by your furnace? Particularly if your system is old, outdated, and poorly managed, it could be responsible for many of the health problems that are cropping up in your home. Are you noticing any of the following health symptoms and illnesses? It may be time to consider replacing your unit. Read on to get healthier and take control of your HVAC situation once more.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be toxic or even deadly to us in large concentrations. The heat exchanger in your furnace emits carbon monoxide as a byproduct of the combustion process. In a well-maintained unit, this gas is swept up and out of your home via a series of intricate movements. If your heat exchanger were to develop cracks and leaks, however, it leaves you susceptible to carbon monoxide buildup that can have dire and disastrous consequences. Having your unit professionally inspected for signs of wear and tear will be a first step in preventing this deadly gas from entering your home and causing symptoms such as:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Extreme drowsiness
- Loss of consciousness
Studies involving the causes of allergic reactions reveal that people living in poorly maintained spaces develop allergies triggered by pollutants like pollen and dust, two common elements found in dirty and unkempt HVAC systems. You may experience symptoms such as coughing, runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes as a result of having too much debris circulating in the air around you.
If you and your family seem to cycle through endless respiratory-related issues like nasal congestion, coughing, headaches, and sore throats, it may be a clear sign that you need to point a finger at the furnace. Saturated and dirty air filters and ductwork that remain clogged for too long can actually release debris back into the air, causing you to develop respiratory irritation and inflammation that may become chronic over time. If left unchecked, these respiratory issues can lead to sinusitis, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Staying on top of furnace maintenance, repair, and even replacement is the best line of defense against the development of respiratory issues.
Skin Rashes and irritation
Clogged air filters and ductwork can also be a breeding ground for the development of mold and mildew. These toxins release airborne spores to be circulated through your home by way of your ductwork. These pollutants can affect the skin by inducing a state of oxidative stress that actually damages cells. Your skin may be prone to the development of rashes, dryness, itchiness, blotches, and even eczema.
A dirty, gassing furnace can be a major contributor to chronic fatigue, particularly if you spend a great deal of time inside. A buildup of toxic gases, toxic by-products, and microorganisms can quickly deplete oxygen levels in your blood and brain, causing you to feel more exhausted than you might imagine. Other signs of chronic fatigue include:
- Long-term fatigue lasting more than six months
- Difficulty sleeping or getting to sleep
- Cognitive difficulties; poor memory and concentration
- Chronic joint and muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Fevers, night sweats, and weight loss
If any of these symptoms persist, see a doctor for a thorough evaluation of your health and employ strategies for beginning to clean up your home environment, starting with your furnace.
Worsening of Autoimmune Symptoms
While there are other underlying factors in the development of autoimmune conditions, an old furnace can contribute to the presence of allergens, chemicals, and pollutants in the air that can exacerbate autoimmune symptoms. If your symptoms persist or worsen,
seek medical attention immediately and schedule a maintenance inspection for your furnace to determine if further action should be taken.
Let’s Find You Solutions to Your HVAC Needs!
Northwest HVAC Heating & Cooling has been proudly serving valued residents in Vancouver and the surrounding area for decades. A commitment to quality service and customer satisfaction drive us to find solutions to all of your HVAC woes. With services such as heating and cooling installation, repair, maintenance, ductless system repair and maintenance, furnace and heat pump repair and installation, and indoor air quality inspection, we’ll get to the root cause of your HVAC issue and provide you with solutions that work for your home, your family, and your budget. Contact us today to schedule a comprehensive inspection of your system; we’ll get you up and running again in no time!