High Winds Across The United States Affecting Indoor Air Quality

Cleaning the dust and debris from high winds out of the AC system components and machinery pays off handsomely, both in dollars saved and in comfort. In addition to improving the indoor air quality, cleaning prolongs the life of the air conditioner and lowers the necessity for frequent expensive repairs. Lately, the United States has experienced high winds from coast to coast. In addition to carrying dirt particles and allergens, the high winds have had a negative effect on home AC and HVAC systems. Allergens and dust mold can cause serious health problems; therefore, it is important to address the issue of HVAC vent cleaning immediately.

Home Air Quality
A musty or moldy smell in a home is an indication that the AC evaporator coils need cleaning. Located within the air stream of the furnace or air handler, the coils accumulate dirt and dust particles that are circulated within the ductwork of the AC system. In windy conditions, more dust and dirt accumulates on the coils.

When one turns down the thermostat, the system starts to circulate. As warm air moves over the cold AC coils, condensation occurs. As a result of this condensation, any dust and dirt particles that blow through the system will stick to the wet metal. As the condensate continues to build up, it will flow into the drain pan carrying with it some of the collected debris. However, if the homeowner neglects to check and unclog the drain area, the condensate water accumulates and remains in the pan below the coils, thereby providing a fertile breeding ground for mold.

Mold needs water and organic compounds to thrive. Dust and dirt particles have enough organic compounds to enable the growth and spreading of mold, especially in very windy conditions. In addition to the coils, excess water or moisture migrates with the airflow throughout the ductwork; regrettably, the mold spores will get spread throughout the house in the process.

Typical duct cleaning involves blowing out the evaporator coil to get rid of all the dust and debris. It also involves cleaning the supply ducts, return ducts, and other components of the furnace. In addition to offering AC vent cleaning and maintenance services, many HVAC contractors provide IAQ testing services. Most contractors strongly recommend that homeowners should test their homes for pollutants ranging from radon and rodents to VOCs and NO2.

According to the EPA, one of the first indicators of an air quality problem is an increase in health problems. Identifying the potential sources of air pollution by taking a careful survey is very important. Although there is not one comprehensive IAQ test, a homeowner may opt to choose a test based on a specific question such as whether the air in the home has unhealthy levels of mold spores.