Can Heat Pumps Make You Sick?
Modern HVAC systems are extremely efficient and effective at maintaining our comfort partially due to the fact that they operate on a closed loop. But while the benefits of a closed loop heating and cooling system are substantial, it’s not all perfect. Because our homes are closed off and well sealed, your space can become inundated with common air pollutants, allergens, and viruses—many times more so than that of outdoor air, according to the EPA.
With this knowledge, a homeowner will naturally come to a very common question: Can my heat pump make me sick?
Do Heat Pumps Make Maryland Homeowners Sick?
Not exactly, no—certainly not specifically due to the fact that the system in question is a heat pump. However, it is possible for an HVAC system of any kind to contribute to the likelihood of becoming ill. In order to understand why, you’ll need to know a few things.
It’s Hard to Get Fresh Air in a Modern Home
Our homes are well insulated and air sealed, and our HVAC systems generally run on a closed loop that simply circulates the air already present in our homes. All of this together means that we stay quite comfortable and that our energy or fuel costs are lower, but it also means that air pollutants can get in, but rarely get displaced or go out.
This can contribute to many symptoms where a heat pump, furnace, or forced-air system may:
- Cause headaches
- Cause allergies
- Cause flu-like symptoms
- Cause lightheadedness
Because of these things, monitoring and maintaining your indoor air quality is a huge deal. There are, fortunately, many ways to accomplish this, and many homeowners never deal with any detrimental health issues due to the state of their HVAC system.
The air filter in your heat pump is responsible for catching dust, mold spores, dust mites, pollen, and a slew of other allergens. If the air filter isn’t replaced regularly, it will eventually become bogged down with these pollutants, which will then be blown all throughout the home. This is why changing your air filter is so important. It’s a simple task, and when done regularly, you will be avoiding one of the most common contributors to illness that can be attributed to a heat pump or HVAC system.
Regular Heat Pump Maintenance
Annual maintenance—or in the case of a heat pump semi-annual—is also a big deal for keeping illness-causing pollutants at bay, and for similar reasons. While your air filter does a decent job, dust and other bits of junk will still make its way into your ducts and HVAC equipment. A routine maintenance service removes these, boosting your air quality substantially.
Gas Heat Pumps Carry a Noteworthy Risk
As with any gas-run heating system, a hybrid heat pump that utilizes gas carries the risk of generating carbon monoxide. For this reason, it is doubly important that you keep up with the air filter and routine maintenance, and it is also wise to install carbon monoxide detectors just to remain on the safe side. Gas is an excellent source of heat, but it needs to be treated with respect!
HVAC Maintenance Memberships in Maryland
At GAC Services, we’ve been providing comprehensive heat pump maintenance services and more for decades. We have the skill and knowledge needed to not only ensure that your heat pump only moves cleaner air, but also to help your heat pump to add to the overall healthiness of your home air.