If you live in a house long enough, you begin to notice patterns of behavior, patterns of illness and even patterns of assumption. Simply put, you may have a "head cold" in the middle of summer and a "fever" in winter that have nothing to do with germs or viruses whatsoever, but you assume they do. Doctors will make the same assumption, based on their medical training. The fact is, your seasonal illnesses may have far less to do with any viral or bacterial bug going around and more to do with your heating and air conditioning. Here is how.
The Build-up of Dust
Just like dirt and dust builds up all over your house, it builds up inside your ventilation system, your furnace and your outdoor condenser for your central air. If you leave all of the above unattended, eventually every dust particle, dust mite, and dirt speck is spewed into the breathable air within your home. You breathe this air in, your body responds with a histamine reaction, and all of a sudden you think you have a summer cold. In winter, your body struggles against both the histamine reaction and the frigid air by turning up your internal thermostat, giving you a winter fever. (Asthma sufferers know all too well how this cycle works and try to avoid indoor air where they know the air systems have not been cleaned.)
How You Can Combat the Problem
First and foremost, have an HVAC technician (click here to investigate) thoroughly clean out your home's ventilation system. The entire ventilation system should be checked at least once a year and cleaned every few years. Next, change your furnace filters as often as recommended or as often as your filter brand instructs you to do so. Then make sure an HVAC technician clears out and cleans out your air conditioner components that sit outside all year long. These components are encased in the A/C's box outside and include the condenser, the evaporator and a rapidly spinning fan, which has a tendency to catch falling debris and chop it up before sending some of it inside.
Finally, avoid any remodeling that could send dust and debris into the air and then into your ventilation system. This may seem impossible, but many contractors now offer a "dustless" approach to remodeling projects. This approach attaches a vacuum to the tools in use, sucking up all the dust, dirt and debris, and keeping it from circulating throughout your home.