RIVERSIDE, Calif: Recent fires in and around Riverside County have left many homeowners with catastrophic damage. For homeowners who escaped burn damage, HVAC experts are urging maintenance and air quality checks to ensure the health of their systems and their family.
Ashes, soot and airborne particulate matter settles into HVAC units and clog inter mechanical workings. This causes motors to run harder, increased utility bills and shortens the lifespan of the unit. Of greater concern, though, is ensuring residents are not breathing contaminated air riddled with pollutants.
"Ash and other particles are so small that HVAC filters do not catch them and when units are turned on, these particulates are blown into the homes polluting the air and building-up in the ductwork," said Ken Goodrich, owner and CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning, which expanded into the region over the summer. "For small children, the elderly and others with existing respiratory problems, this situation is particularly concerning. HVAC systems are like the lungs of the house - when clogged or not working correctly, that's when bad things happen."
Soot clogged systems force units to run with higher refrigerant pressure, which can lead to failing components. Oftentimes, the buildup of soot and ash leads to poor air quality. The air quality problem is amplified when homeowners close their windows when turning on their HVAC. Goodrich recommends residents open their windows before turning on their units and run the HVAC for 60 minutes to allow for proper ventilation.
Maintenance, cleaning - and conducting system and air quality checks - are a homeowner's best pathway to prevent future headaches and to help ensure indoor air quality. "We want our neighbors and customers to be healthy," added Goodrich, an industry veteran who has HVAC operations in Southern California, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson - some of the harshest environments in the U.S. for HVAC systems.
"Our experience has proven that post-fire events, homeowners often don't know what to do to make sure their homes are free of containments and have air that doesn't make them sick."
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