You likely take for granted the ductwork that delivers conditioned air to all the rooms in your home. However, ductwork does need to be monitored to make sure dirt and debris isn't clogging the ducts, impairing energy efficiency in your heating and cooling system, and more seriously, threatening the health of home occupants. Preventing dirty ductwork will ensure that the ducts aren't compromising your system's energy efficiency or creating health risks.
While duct cleaning is an available option when ducts get dirty, the best course of action is preventing dirty ductwork in the first place.
A major benefit of preventing dirty ductwork is improved energy efficiency. When dirt and debris accumulates in the ducts, airflow through the ducts is impeded. Any forced-air HVAC system requires smooth and predictable airflow, both in the supply and return ducts. When airflow is hindered by material in the ducts, design flaws, or detached, dropped or leaking ductwork, your heating and cooling equipment will have to work harder and longer to provide conditioned air throughout your home.
Finally, tight, clean and well-designed ductwork minimizes health risks originating in the ducts. In many homes, the indoor air can get fairly dirty, containing a variety of contaminants, including mold spores, pet dander, bacteria and viruses, pollen and other materials. As the air circulates in the ductwork, especially if it's not getting filtered properly, those contaminants can accumulate inside the ducts. In addition, insects and rodents can get in the ducts, leaving behind body parts, nests and feces. Finally, your ducts may offer a welcoming environment for mold, which if left unchecked can colonize duct sections.
Now imagine your household air flowing through filthy ducts, picking up various health-threatening contaminants. It's not good for you, and it's especially not good for household members who suffer from allergies or respiratory issues.
Clearly, if you can keep the ductwork from getting dirty and contaminated in the first place, you're ahead of the game. The good news is that most of these steps are relatively cheap, and definitely worth the payoff of enjoying cleaner air and a more efficient HVAC system.
The U.S. Office of Research Services, a subdivision of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), offers the following six steps for preventing dirty ductwork.
For more help preventing dirty ductwork in your Columbia area home, please contact us at Cool Care Heating & Air. Our NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certified duct-cleaning service uses high-tech tools to inspect, and if necessary, clean and repair your home's ductwork.
Image Provided by Shutterstock.com