Legionnaires Disease and Home AC Systems: Understanding the Facts

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Whenever warmer weather approaches, people across the country will begin purchasing air conditioners and getting AC repair in San Diego to keep cool from the hot temperatures. It is also during this time when building managers worry about the upkeep of their commercial HVAC systems to prevent the spread of dangerous diseases. Legionnaires disease is one common issue that may be present in large cooling towers on buildings as this bacterium can cause infections or death for some people. While commercial buildings are taking the steps to prevent such a problem from occurring, homeowners may wonder if they also need to take steps to keep their family and friends safe from such a disease in their home AC systems.

What is Legionnaires Disease?

Legionnaires disease is caused by the bacteria legionella that can be found naturally in freshwater supplies. The bacterium can grow in warmer weather as it can enter the body through aspiration. When a person breathes in the water droplets, the bacteria can enter the body and create lung infections. Most people who are healthy will not be affected by the bacteria. Yet older people, people who smoke, people with weak immune systems and people who have chronic lung diseases may become affected.

Can Legionnaires Disease Be Found in a Home AC?

The legionella bacteria can grow and spread in outdoor and indoor water sources in warm conditions, yet it is rarely found in home AC systems. The reason may be because there is not a large amount of water present for the bacteria to grow and spread. Also, air conditioners placed properly in windows will be slightly sloped outside, allowing the water to drain out of the unit. So people can perform AC repair in San Diego with little fear of contracting Legionnaires disease. A person can also walk underneath the dripping water from the units without worrying about the bacteria.

For larger commercial buildings that have HVAC systems, these units have cooling towers that holds large amounts of water that turn into water vapor to cool off the indoor air temperatures by drawing in the heat and dispersing it. So these units can allow the legionella bacteria to thrive and grow if the proper cleaning and maintenance is not performed.

Understanding what causes Legionnaires disease, how it is contracted, and where the bacteria can grow can help a person understand the risks of getting this disease. It can also ease their fears about cleaning their window units and performing AC repair in San Diego.

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