With summer heating up in Jacksonville, you will most likely hear the background thrum of air conditioning units where ever you go. HVAC systems in hot climates provide relief from unbearable temperatures, and, when working properly, improve indoor air quality. Typically, indoor pollutant levels found in average homes are two to five times higher than outdoor levels, and without proper ventilation, this can have potentially serious effects on your health.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, almost 25 million Americans suffer from asthma, a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows your airways. Poor indoor air quality caused by the buildup of mold or particulate matter exacerbates asthma symptoms from just short-term exposure. The onset of symptoms, such as wheezing, will subside as soon as you leave the polluted environment.
Jacksonville summers are humid and moist, which can cause mold in your air conditioning unit or ventilation ducts. The mold, along with dust containing residual chemicals, can cause inflammation of the lungs, called hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Symptoms may occur 4 to 6 hours after exposure to the offending environment, and can include chills, cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Long-term exposure can cause chronic hypersensitivity.
Lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer, killing thousands of Americans each year. Although smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, other causes include exposure to second-hand smoke and radon, an invisible, odorless gas that can seep into your home from the outside or be contained in building materials. Poor ventilation in your home increases your risk for exposure.
To avoid potential health risks related to indoor air pollution, install or repair an air conditioning system to improve the quality of your home’s air. If you live in the Jacksonville area, call McGowan’s Heating and Air Conditioning at (904) 278-0339 for an indoor air quality test to determine if you are at risk.