Heating and Air-Conditioning Guide to a Healthier Home!

Does Your System Look Like This?

Correct installation of an attic mounted system!
Correct installation of an attic mounted system!

Introduction

Dear Friends,

This hub has been assembled to help educate you as to what you need to know about what you’re heating and air-conditioning system that can affect you, your family, and your money.There are many areas of this seemingly simple device that can affect your life and you may never figure out what is going on.

How Your Air-Conditioning System Can Affect You!

 I first want to introduce the economy and cost of running your system from day to day. The first thing you should notice here is that the entire system is laid out in a linear fashion so to allow the proper negative and positives static pressures from the intake air to the supply air for proper air distribution. Without this type of layout you open yourself to elements that are to most home owners not understood and unless educated by your technician will never know.

 Remember this, your comfort from your system is achieved by the control of humidity and of course air temperatures.

 The next thing you should pay close attention to is that all the duct work is connected to the sides of the boxes on the ends of this assembly that is commonly known as plenums. The one at this end of the photo is the return plenum and please also take notice that there is a door on here for a filter. Filtering from the unit and not at the point of entry from inside the house will eliminate dirt or dust from entering in through the whole duct run.

 The second thing you need to know is that the connection of duct work on the supply plenum end is done in the same manner as the return plenum. This is where the air is pushed by blower inside the unit into the house. If the duct work is kept away from the end of the plenum it will allow for equal air pressures to all the ducts and hence you achieve even temperatures throughout your home. If your home has rooms that do not cool or heat evenly this is where you should start looking first.

 Now for the last of this section we will discuss the cost of operation. If you remember the things you just completed reading and remember it during this section I think you will begin to see why you’re a/c bills are higher than they should be.

 You’re A/C system was designed by the engineers with the degrees and can be totally destroyed by the installers when installed. Even the most expensive systems will fail due to improper installations as discussed above. The system is designed to move so much air across the evaporator coil at a certain rate of speed by the blower so the air is conditioned at the peak of performance capable by the system.

 If you took a thermometer and digital is the preferred type and took a reading at the point of air entering the system and again at the point of exit you should see about 17 – 21 degrees temperature drop. If not then your system is running longer and working harder than it should have to. Now you should be able to understand how your bill may be higher than they should be.

 

Don't let this happen to you!

Duct connections at the end? Why?
Duct connections at the end? Why?
Duct connections at the end? Again Why?
Duct connections at the end? Again Why?
Duct connections at the end? Again Why?
Duct connections at the end? Again Why?

You can see this if you enter the attic!

In these photos I want you to see what we have been talking about the way duct work is connected to units in about 80% of the homes today. New home owners do not think that you have a new home and not be in this condition as well!

In the old days the A/C companies did not get the education like we have available today and was done due to ignorance of not knowing any better.

In today’s world we have a couple of reasons that this is done on newer systems.

· I believe the number one reason is greed.

· The next reason is we still have technicians /installers that were taught by some of the old timers and again do not understand the dynamics of design.

· Now this area is touchy so I will not mention names of the institutions that teach students a couple of days a week and 2 – 3 hours per class. In this classroom setting how much can be learned in so few hours? There is no way to get all the information to the students and for them to understand it all.

The Results From These Conditions!

Plenum with mold and dust build up!
Plenum with mold and dust build up!
Plenum with mold and dust build up!
Plenum with mold and dust build up!
Duct work with mold and dust build up!
Duct work with mold and dust build up!
Evaporator!
Evaporator!

Mold and Dust Buildup!

Now let’s talk about how these conditions can affect your family’s health!

In this first photo you should note that there is a buildup here. What is it? Well it is mold and so not to terrorize everyone according to the EPA not all mold is bad.

Notice the darker areas of the surface where this condition has reached an accelerated point and is suspect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mold#Biology 

Now with the EPA’s stand that under normal condition this cannot hurt you unless this reaches black mold state. Let’s examine these areas for few moments.

· Mold starts out as mildew build up because the system is not keeping the humidity under control and then collects dust from the home and never dries up during the summer.

· Now ask yourself one thing, do I have mold allergies? Why is it when I am at home for a while I get stopped up and even a runny nose.

· Now if not corrected it will continue to grow into what you see in these photos.

· Next you might be thinking why is this duct so dirty? Same reason as inside the boxes shown here. The humidity is not just in the unit it can travel all the way down the duct and into the home as humid air. Remember we looked at this in the first section of comfort control?

· Now look at this lower photo and this is what we call an evaporator coil.

Consider this after reading here, if these plenums and duct work have this build up what must your evaporator coil look like? Well, I would suspect just like the rest of these photos shown here.

A lot of doctors are learning to ask when faced with allergies that have been identified as mold and/or dust related to have their systems checked for any build ups of this sort of thing.

Your evaporator coil should be clean to be able to work properly and serve you for years at maximum performance.

Extended Reading - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_conditioning#Health_implications

Due diligence for our readers and support to some of the claims in this article!

Registers inside the home!

This indicates a buildup all the way through the system!
This indicates a buildup all the way through the system!
This indicates that the register is getting wet and the paint might peel from around it.
This indicates that the register is getting wet and the paint might peel from around it.

Serious problems at this point!

Now as we look at these last photos here we can see that the problem is not just in the unit but the whole system including the ducting and registers that you can see from inside the house.

Now if you see this inside your home you need to act swiftly to get this taken care of. It’s not only unhealthy to all occupants but is destroying your system and you pay triple because your bills are too high and if not corrected you will have to buy a new system. Now if the technician that you call in is without the needed knowledge to see what has caused the problem you will just start the whole process again. This all adds up to more $$$$!

Conclusion and a Recap!

This hub is intended to only advise you that all may not be well with your air-conditioning and heating unit no matter what your technician tells you. Be diligent and look for yourself and if you see any assembly like I have shown you here as wrong is in your home.

As I stated before not all technicians have had the full training and or the experience to recognize these problems! They may even tell you that what you learned here is wrong. Be proactive with your home and your family’s health in all matters. If you need more information you can always do some researches on the internet that may help you even more?

Last but not least you need to understand this as well. If you have small children that seem to be sick a lot and have a runny nose you should investigate. Children have a faster heart rate and they take in more air then we as adults do usually because they are more active so they are affected first.

Respiratory Tract Infections

Poorly maintained air conditioners have been proven to cause upper respiratory tract infections, which include the common cold, sore throat, and tonsillitis. Dirty air filters can also cause dust and other airborne bacteria to recirculate in a building, which only perpetuates and increases the risk of catching these infections. Studies have established that a large percentage of absences from work can be directly attributed to upper respiratory tract infections that occur from the circulation of airborne bacteria and fungi through air conditioning systems.

Terry

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Question?

 You can ask me questions direct at this email address: tltedford@pwhome.com

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Comments or Questions? 4 comments

Brooke Bowen 2 years ago

My friend was having some issues with her home and when she asked me to take a look, I found buildup like shown above. It was quite ridiculous! I didn't know how to fix it or even what to tell her. This was extremely helpful. Thank you!

Brooke Bowen http://ascheatandair.com/


Miss Wolfe 3 years ago

Thanks so much for your post about how to make a healthier home in regards to the heating and air-conditioning system. I have been researching tips for our AC unit and you brought up some really interesting things to think about! A few of us in the house have been getting what we think are allergies, but after reading about the mold and possible build up that you mentioned, I feel like I need to take a second look at some things! With the new season just starting, I found this post that seems pretty helpful too: http://blog.hignell.com/Home-Repair-Experts/bid/33... . It gave some helpful tips (like your post) for some things to look for. Lots of helpful information that I would have never thought of!


T.B. 6 years ago

Very eye opening


D.Virtual.Doctor profile image

D.Virtual.Doctor 6 years ago from Europe

wow, what a rare but grossly informative and educative hub. What more can I say about the perfect inter-link between the air-condition and respiratory clinical cases.

As a medical practitioner, I find diseases of the respiratory system very astonishing and interesting and as well quite complicating, due to their inter-relating symptoms and clinical similarities and seriously, such diseases really and truly need professional attention and adequate knowledge in order to dig in deep to giving the appropriate treatment as well as giving a good diagnosis. I find this hub very useful and I am so glad I read it. I will not hesitate bookmarking this, so as to maintain access to such a great, awesome and useful knowledge. Thumbs up and I rate it highly..

D.Virtual.Doctor

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