The health of your home’s ductwork is essential to the health of the rest of your home. It circulates the air you breathe, so if the ducts are dirty or contaminated, those contaminants will spread through your whole house. Many people try to improve their indoor air quality by having the ducts cleaned every few years. An even better idea? Work to prevent dirty ductwork before it starts.
An annual HVAC inspection is essential for a variety of reasons. It makes sure the system is in good working order and helps it run efficiently. It also helps prevent dirty ductwork. An HVAC inspector will clean the unit, including the coils and blower motor, and anywhere else where dust and contaminants can accumulate. Without regular maintenance, those contaminants will circulate through your home. Remembering to schedule an HVAC inspection visit every year will help you breathe easier in more ways than one.
Any holes or leaks in the ductwork are opportunities for dirt to enter and reduce indoor air quality. They also make the HVAC system run much less efficiently, since air is leaking out before it can reach your home. It’s important to locate any air leaks and patch them up with metal tape or mastic sealant to keep your air clean and the system running properly.
Duct sealing is even more important to do during construction or renovation projects. If you’re remodeling your home, you’ve got far more than just ordinary, run-of-the-mill dust around the house. You’ve got dirt, sawdust and other contaminants pervading the air. If you don’t have the contractor seal the ducts before beginning the project, those contaminants could be circulating through your home for years to come.
Where does the dirt in the ducts come from? While some of it does come from construction and renovation projects, most of it is just the regular dirt from around your home. Is there a thick layer of dust on an old, forgotten bookshelf? Is there dirt on the coffee table, desk or around the carpet? The contaminants on surfaces quickly end up in the air as well, which ultimately circulates through the ductwork.
One of the most important ways to prevent dirty ductwork is regular house cleaning. Dusting surfaces and vacuuming regularly will go a long way toward improving indoor air quality.
One of the things you need to do is simply be aware of where the return ducts are in relation to sources of contamination. While most ducts are used to distribute air to your home, return ducts take air from the room and bring it back to the HVAC system. If the air intake register for the return duct is located next to a bathroom with mold or mildew problems, then mildew and mold spores will get into the ductwork and be circulated throughout the rest of your house. It’s important to keep these areas clean and free of contaminants to keep the ducts healthy.
Regular duct inspection is cheaper and less involved than a full-blown cleaning, and it can make sure that ducts and the air they distribute are clean and healthy. Be sure to hire a duct inspector who’s certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). NADCA certification ensures quality ductwork inspection from a reputable HVAC professional.
For more tips on how to prevent dirty ductwork, or for other heating and cooling concerns, contact Senica Air Conditioning, Inc., Inc.