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The Hood Magazine

HVAC Health Check

May 04, 2020 11:32AM ● By Foley's Heating and Cooling

Author:  Foley’s 

Given the circumstances of the Coronavirus pandemic and the significant amount of time we have all committed to the indoors, it is worth noting that even under normal circumstances it is estimated we spend on average 90% of our lives indoors. The Environmental Protection Agency ranks indoor air pollution among the top four environmental hazards in the country. 

Your home's HVAC system is capable of spreading diseases, viruses, germs and pollutants. Indoor air quality is now more important than ever. Specific segments of the population that especially need to be considered when managing indoor air quality are: 

  • Infants to 16 year olds 

  • Adults over 60 years old 

  • Immuno-compromised individuals, pregnant women, persons with chronic respiratory illness, and people recovering from surgery, illness or undergoing/recovering from cancer treatment 

  • Pet owners 

Respiratory moisture from sneezing and coughing can travel to your HVAC system and be recirculated throughout your home’s ductwork. Viruses are smaller than bacteria and viruses cannot survive without a host. 

Mold, a biological growth, can find a hospitable environment in your HVAC system. Three things are needed for mold to survive and possibly become a serious contaminant concern. First, it needs a food source and that can present itself as simple as flaked off skin that has entered the HVAC system. The next is moisture, readily present in the form of condensation. And finally, the lack of ultraviolet light. These are the conditions that require mitigation by homeowners and perhaps an HVAC professional in an escalated situation. Just as ultraviolet light systems are used in the sterilization of medical instruments and food processing equipment, it is used by an HVAC professional to irradiate contaminants in your HVAC ductwork and equipment. 


It has always been recommended that an HVAC system be inspected a minimum of twice a year. Consider spending a little more on the quality of your air filter and the frequency of changing it out when respiratory illnesses are elevated in our area. If you have any questions or concerns, you should always consult an HVAC professional to keep your home and your family safe and healthy!