What Is Legionnaires’ Disease?

Although it has yet to affect Florida, Legionnaires’ Disease has been in the news lately and many homeowners might wonder how it’s related to HVAC systems. Legionnaires’ Disease is a kind of pneumonia caused by the bacteria Legionella pneumophila. People are susceptible to it if they breathe vapor contaminated by the bacteria. Its symptoms include high fever, cough and chills. Less prevalent symptoms are headaches, muscle, stomach or chest pain and headaches. Though the disease can occur at any season, most people get it in summer or early fall.

Potential Sources of Legionnaires’ Disease

Poorly cleaned whirlpools can be a source of Legionnaires’ Disease, in addition to fountains in hospitals, nursing homes and on cruise ships. HVAC systems with humidifiers are another potential source because Legionella pneumophila needs moisture to thrive. HVAC systems without a humidifier pose no Legionnaires’ Disease threat, according to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Specific HVAC Conditions That Cause Legionnaires’ Disease

When installing new systems, HVAC companies aware of the threat of Legionnaires’ Disease will consider many factors to try to prevent it. These precautions include trying to use as few sumps, pans and water reservoirs as possible. The companies will also devise a way to drain water sumps when they are not being used and to regularly remove water from sumps to eliminate sediment caused by substances dissolved in water.

HVAC installers will also consider where and how fresh air comes into the system (evaporator condenser, cooling tower, air intakes, etc. and which direction the wind blows), among other areas for thought, so no contaminants enter the system. For existing HVAC systems, the best defense against Legionnaires’ Disease is a well-maintained system, which means periodic inspections by HVAC specialists.

Call Complete Air Mechanical To Maintain the Safety of Your HVAC System

Complete Air Mechanical is a family owned and operated business. Started in 1992, it is a member of the Better Business Bureau and is well-known for superior service.  At Complete Air Mechanical, an important aim is to keep customers healthy. So contact us today for a safety inspection of your air-conditioning system.