Air Duct Inspection | What’s Really Hiding in Your Air Ducts
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Posted May 7, 2018
Your HVAC unit is working hard every single day, and a large part of your home’s overall system isn’t even visible to you. It’s tucked out of sight and maybe even out of mind on most days. We’re talking about your ductwork. Even though it goes mostly unnoticed, when it’s underperforming, your indoor air quality will decrease and your monthly energy bills will increase. Read more below to learn about when to have duct inspection performed.
As time goes by, your ducts can start to accumulate debris, seals may begin to loosen, and ducts can even fall away. The EPA estimates that if there are leaks, clogs, or holes in your ductwork that you’re losing an average of 20 percent of your AC or furnace’s efficiency. That means you’re throwing money away with every use! Beyond the financial concern, a duct that isn’t working may be drawing harmful gases like carbon monoxide back into your home, making the air toxic. While it’s not something you need to do often, routine maintenance and cleaning of your ducts will lead to efficiency, quality, and cost-saving benefits in the long run.
How to Know When You Need A Duct Inspection?
- Rattling or clamoring noises coming from your ducts
- Uneven air flow throughout your house
- Uneven temperatures meaning hot and cold spots
- Dust accumulation around the vents
- Musty odors from mold and mildew
- Unusually high energy bills
Indoor Air Quality
Even when you’re timely about changing your air filters, dirt can sneak through into your ducts. Air leaks are another source of dust and allergens sneaking into your airstream. While a little dust and dirt in the ducts won’t do very much harm, the more it builds up, the more likely it will start to block airways or allow unfiltered air to pass through. With an average of 25 percent of indoor pollutants being traced to outside sources and 40 lbs of dust for every 1600 square feet accumulating annually, what your ducts circulate can make a significant impact on your health, especially if you are an allergy sufferer.
More concerning for those prone to allergies is the opportunity for mold and mildew to flourish in the ducts. A professional inspection may be your only chance of getting mold cleaned out of your ducts to clear out the problem entirely, especially if lab testing is required. This is one of the biggest reasons the EPA suggests having your ductwork cleaned because if the mold is not sufficiently eradicated it will quickly come back. If your ducts have insulation that is moldy, then the insulation will need to be completely replaced.
A breach in your duct, whether it’s a hole or entire opening, means that rodents and insects have easy access to your ventilation system. Many rodents are notorious for chewing their way through some of the most durable materials. If they carry in dander or leave behind droppings, it will get into your airstream, leading to the spread of disease like hantavirus. If you notice any evidence of vermin in and around your vents, contact a professional to remove the infestation and clean the residue as well.
After Air Duct Inspection and Cleaning
To keep your system running well after maintenance:
- Keep cooling coils clean
- Drain pans regularly
- Eliminate moisture build up that can lead to mold (this is different from whole-home humidification)
- Change air filters Regularly
A large part of your home’s HVAC system is hidden away, but out of sight shouldn’t mean out of mind. When it comes to your home’s ductwork, having duct inspection performed will keep your costs down and system running efficiently. Contact us today to perform a duct inspection and make sure your systems are running cleanly and properly.