Your HVAC System Could be a Source of Legionnaire’s Disease

May 6, 2016


A poorly maintained HVAC system may circulate pollutants and microbes into the air, causing severe illness.

HVAC systems play a crucial role in keeping your home comfortable. Proper maintenance of an HVAC system is essential to get the best performance and to safeguard the health and well-being of your family. A poorly maintained system may circulate pollutants into the air that can cause allergies and can become a breeding ground of disease causing microbes. You may be surprised to know that some of these microbes can cause serious illnesses such as Legionnaire’s disease.

Legionnaire’s Disease

Legionnaire’s disease is a lung disease that is caused by a bacterium known as legionella pneumophila. Legionnaire’s disease has become more common in recent years. The most common symptoms of this lung disease include:

  • muscle pain
  • weakness
  • chills
  • fever
  • mild headaches
  • mental stress

A person may also experience some symptoms of pneumonia such as chest pain and shortness of breath. Many of these symptoms mimic other pulmonary illnesses; a doctor is needed to make a correct diagnosis using a urine test. The symptoms may not present themselves immediately. It may take up to two weeks for symptoms to completely develop.

Legionnaire’s Disease and HVAC Systems

Legionnaire’s disease can be spread by HVAC systems. The bacterium responsible for this illness exists in natural water sources such as lakes, but only in small quantities. The number of bacteria increases exponentially when water from fresh water sources is fed into artificial water supply systems.

These bacteria thrive in water with temperatures of 20-45 degrees Celsius and when the water contains particles for the bacteria to feed on. Legionnaire’s disease causes deterioration of vital organs of the body. It can damage the lungs and kidneys and lead to several complications and in worse cases, death of the patient. People working in large buildings are at a higher risk, because artificial water systems provide conducive conditions for these bacteria to thrive.

St. Louis HVAC Company

The spread of Legionnaire’s disease through an HVAC system can be minimized by the design, installation, and maintanance of capable HVAC experts. Have your system maintained by a St. Louis HVAC professional from Scott-Lee Heating Company. We will make sure that your system is free from any health hazards and is performing at peak capacity. Call us at (314) 200-0788.