Can Your HVAC System Make You Sick? (Air Quality) - Ernst Heating & Cooling

Can Your HVAC System Make You Sick? (Air Quality)


You may have heard the myth that the “forced air” from your heating makes you sick. But as you may have guessed, the air from your HVAC system shouldn’t be any more likely to make you sick than outdoor air.

That is, as long as you have the right accessories!

Ideally, your indoor air being circulated by your HVAC system should be just as a clean and pure as the outdoor air and the newly fallen snow.

However, it might actually be far more contaminated. Have you ever noticed that every year when you turn on your heat for the first time,  you or your family members get sick soon after? 

That illness has nothing to do with your system being a “forced air system,” and everything to do with:

A) the dust, dirt, animal dander, pollen, etc. that’s in your heating ducts and in the rest of your house

B) the dryness of the air

So you’re probably wanting to know how to eliminate these issues! 

First, let’s get the expensive options out of the way:

  • A Fresh Air Intake System delivers outdoor air to the furnace or air handler, using a special fresh air duct. It should also include a damper to make sure it’s not over-ventilated. 
  • A Heat Recovery Ventilator / Energy Recovery Ventilator are (again, expensive!) systems that pull fresh air in from outside. This ventilator is an HVAC accessory that gets connected to the air ducts you already have. It pulls fresh air from the outdoors, and adds it to your home, while removing the stale air.

And you might think, “Rather than bothering with all that, why don’t I just crack open a window? Isn’t that a cheaper option for air quality?” 

Well, cracking a window can invite bacteria and allergens into your home. The ventilation systems mentioned above, in contrast, give you the fresh air you want brought into your home, without the dirt, dust, pollen, bacteria, etc. we mentioned at the beginning of this article!! (However, like we said, too much ventilation can actually dry out your home, which is why the damper is important.)

There has to be another way to clean your air and ward off flu season diseases, though, right? The choices can’t be “crack open a window in the middle of winter” vs. “pay $3,000 for an ERV”…

In fact, there is a great air quality solution:

The PureAir™ Air Purification Systems by Lennox®! 

This combats these particles/pollutants using a technologically improved filter that can catch particles as small as .3 micron. For reference (since we like explaining science in real-world terms, as cool as it sounds to say “micron”!), pollen and plant spores are 7 – 70 microns in size, dust mites are 5 – 20 microns, and large bacteria is 1 – 20 microns. So, we’re talking removing 95% of dangerous particles, here!

To learn more, check out the Weber family’s story here. Mrs. Weber suffered from poor air quality, and saw her symptoms of coughing and lethargy improve greater after installing the PureAir™:



If you’d like to learn more about the Lennox products we offer, feel free to
contact us, call 618.217.1836, or visit this page.

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